Horizon Discovery enters into R&D and licensing partnership with Amplycell S.A. for bioproduction cell line optimisation

08 Mar 2017 | Press release

  • Partnership formed to evaluate the impact of Amplycell’s novel cell fitness technology on expression capacity of Horizon’s bioproduction cell line
  • Potential to establish long-term relationship, with Amplycell’s BOOST procedure being applied as standard to future generations of Horizon’s bioproduction cell lines

Cambridge, UK and Liege, BE, 8 March 2017: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) ("Horizon"), the world leader in the application of gene editing technologies, including the provision of bioproduction cell lines, today announced it has entered into a research and development collaboration, and license agreement with AmplyCell S.A., to evaluate the impact of AmplyCell’s BOOST cell line optimisation technology on Horizon’s parental GS (glutamine synthetase) null CHO K1 cell line.

AmplyCell's Cell Fitness Technologies, which include BOOST, consist of a four-stage process to optimise cell lines in terms of stability and productivity. Cell lines can be stimulated using AmplyCell's Cell Fitness Technologies at any stage of cell line development or bioproduction (clone creation, RCB/DCB, MCB), without the need to change culture conditions.

Horizon is applying a disruptive business model alongside its expertise in genome editing to improve the manufacture of biotherapeutics, making its cutting-edge CHO cells available to companies of all sizes. Horizon’s CHO SOURCE platform comprises the industry standard GS selection system partnered with an expression vector and established culturing protocols. Through the targeted application of genome editing, Horizon is constantly evolving this platform, generating a series of continually improved cell lines that further advance the bioproduction capability of CHO cells.

Before releasing its next generation of bioproduction cell lines, Horizon will evaluate the impact of Amplycell’s technology on the expression capability of their parental GS null CHO K1 cell line. If the evaluation is successful, both parties anticipate a long term relationship, with the BOOST procedure being applied as standard to future generations of cell lines.

Under the terms of the agreement, Horizon will make an upfront payment (figure not disclosed) to AmplyCell. Upon establishing a positive impact on the CHO cell line, AmplyCell will then be entitled to receive success-based development and commercial milestone payments and Horizon will have the non-exclusive worldwide rights to sublicense these BOOSTed CHO-K1 cell lines to third parties. AmplyCell is also eligible to receive tiered royalties based on the net sales of these sublicensed lines.

Terry Pizzie, Head of Commercial, Horizon Discovery said: “We are hopeful that a successful evaluation of AmplyCell’s BOOST technology will lead to incorporation of this methodology for all future bioprocessing cell lines released by Horizon, and look forward to creating a long term relationship with AmplyCell.”

Geoffrey Holsbeek, CEO of AmplyCell S.A. added: “AmplyCell is delighted to enter into this collaboration with Horizon. They have already demonstrated significant success in establishing biomanufacturing licensing deals around the globe, and we are pleased to be able to support their drive to remain at the forefront of cell innovation.”