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International Trade Minister Greg Hands visits fast-growing Cambridge life sciences company

13 Jan 2017 | Press release

Cambridge, UK 13 January 2017: Horizon Discovery Group, world leader in the application of gene editing technologies, today hosted International Trade Minister Greg Hands at its facility in Cambridge.

During the visit, Mr Hands learned more about the company’s groundbreaking work to design and engineer gene-edited cell lines and was given a tour of the Horizon headquarters, including state-of-the-art research laboratories and manufacturing facilities.

Horizon Discovery was recently tipped as a ‘company to watch in 2017’ by both the Financial Times and Sunday Times, and has recently achieved success achieved in key branches of its commercial operations, including:

  • In December, the company announced the signature of more than £1million of new service agreements in FY 2016 for its Genetic Screening Programme, with revenue to be recognised in Q4 2016 and early 2017.
  • The 2016 revenue for Horizon’s Genetic Screening platform represents a near fourfold increase since the launch of the platform in 2015.
  • Horizon’s Cell Bank subscription programme has generated over £700,000 in revenue since its launch in Q3 2016.
  • Horizon’s Biomanufacturing business has seen a significant growth in cell line licensing revenue, to over £1.3million in 2016, over three times that of 2015. Product evaluations with pharmaceutical, biotech and contract manufacturing organisations around the world are now resulting in several high margin licensing deals being signed and establishing a strong pipeline for 2017.

Dr. Darrin Disley, Chief Executive Officer, Horizon Discovery, commented:

“We were delighted to welcome the Minister to Horizon Discovery. We have an established relationship with the Department for International Trade, having previously participated in an oncology trade mission to India which opened up a new network of potential partners, and recently received important introductions to new contacts in the US. We look forward to working closely with the Department as we look towards our exciting year ahead”.

International Trade Minister Greg Hands said:

“Cambridge is world renowned for its capabilities in a number of sectors, and has the largest UK cluster of scientific research and development employment outside London. Fast-growing and pioneering companies like Horizon typify the vibrancy and strength of the life sciences sector in Cambridge.

“Meeting businesses like Horizon, who are at the cutting edge of global advances, is a pertinent reminder of the international demand for British goods, services and expertise. My department is committed to providing the support businesses need to help them continue to grow and achieve their ambitions.”

During his visit to Cambridge, the Minister also met the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to hear about the strengths of the local economy and discuss how Government can support increased growth. He also, along with Lucy Frazer MP for South East Cambridgeshire, attended a roundtable lunch hosted by the Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce and attended by key businesses including Lloyd’s Bank, JDR Cable Systems Ltd, Cellbond and Eve Taylor.

Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough is currently home to 1.3 million people, 700,000 jobs and 63,000 enterprises generating £33 billion per annum, making it the 13thlargest economy out of the 39 LEP areas.