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Horizon Discovery Signs Supply and Distribution Agreement with Sirion Biotech GmbH

17 Feb 2014

Agreement adds custom and off-the-shelf shRNA and cDNA expression capabilities to Horizon’s offering

Cambridge, UK, 17 February 2014: Horizon Discovery™ (Horizon), a leading provider of research tools to support translational genomics and the development of personalized medicines, today announced it has signed a supply and distribution agreement with Sirion Biotech GmbH (Sirion). Under the terms of the agreement Horizon’s customers can now access Sirion’s highly efficient RNAiONE custom shRNA development services, as well as Sirion’s off-the-shelf validated shRNA and cDNA over-expression reagents. Through this partnership Horizon now offers a broad spectrum of gene modulation technologies ranging from stable shRNA knockdown and cDNA overexpression systems to the ability to edit endogenous genes via rAAV, ZFN and CRISPR platforms.

Short hairpin RNA (shRNA) has become a staple of the research community for silencing genes, but identifying the most effective shRNA sequence to provide the greatest level of gene suppression often presents a problem. Sirion’s RNAiONE™ platform is a validation system that reliably produces shRNAs with a gene silencing efficiency often greater than 90%.

The platform is being made available through Horizon as a custom service that delivers a shRNA sequence, transduction-ready lentivirus or a treated knockdown cell pool. Inducible knock-down and over-expression systems are also available, offering a valuable tool for functional gene analysis and to help deal with the adaptive capacity of cells. Horizon will also be making available over 125 off-the-shelf RNAiONE validated shRNAs and over 70 cDNA overexpression constructs. These will be available as transduction ready lentivirus particles or as plasmids.

“Gene over-expression and knockdown studies are important to both basic and pre-clinical research, helping to determine the specific roles of genes and potentially leading to the discovery of novel targets for new drugs,” said Dr Jon Moore, VP, Oncology, Horizon Discovery. “Issues surrounding knockdown efficiency and the associated phenotypic variation have led to inconsistent results. The high silencing efficiency ensured by RNAiONE gives researchers confidence in their functional genomics investigations.”

Dr Darrin M Disley, CEO of Horizon Discovery, commented: “Horizon is committed to offering products and services both in-house and through strategic partnerships that enable scientists to address their translational genomics needs. Following the recent announcement of our distributor agreement with Haplogen, the addition of Sirion’s products and the custom shRNA services to our commercial offering further extends our ability to fulfill this mission, as well as supporting Horizon’s overall growth strategy.”

Christian Thirion, Managing Director of Sirion Biotech, said: “Horizon is well respected in the industry as a leading translational genomics company. It is a natural step forward to complement Horizon’s drug discovery services and products with Sirion Biotech’s RNAiONE technology, and I am confident that this partnership will provide researchers with optimal integrated solutions for translational genomics. We are happy that this agreement with Horizon will enable us to broadcast our technology to a larger audience.”