Horizon Discovery signs collaboration and license agreement with Mammoth Biosciences

13 Jan 2020 | Press release

  • Aims to develop the next generation of engineered CHO cell lines, to improve production of biotherapeutics
  • Bioproduction is a key business unit within Horizon, this agreement underlines strategy to focus on core markets


Cambridge, UK, 13 January 2020: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) ("Horizon" or “the Group”), a global leader in the application of gene editing and gene modulation technologies, has announced that it has signed a collaboration and license agreement with Mammoth Biosciences (“Mammoth” or the “Company”), to access Mammoth’s novel CRISPR platform and thereby facilitate delivery of a new generation of genetically engineered CHO cells for the production of biotherapeutics such as therapeutic antibodies.

Horizon’s Bioproduction business unit currently offers the biopharmaceutical industry a well characterized CHO cell line and customized services to facilitate the development and identification of best performing gene-edited cell lines. Since entering this market five years ago, the business unit has generated significant sales revenues, secured more than 60 licensing engagements, and seen customers succeed with at least five Investigational New Drug (IND) filings. This agreement supports the Company’s strategy to focus on its core high growth markets, while continuing to ensure that its customers have access to the latest and most advanced gene editing technologies.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will collaborate to optimize certain CRISPR tools to rapidly develop proprietary CHO cell lines. In these cell lines, selected genes are ‘knocked out’ to improve performance parameters such as increasing productivity or reducing naturally-occurring contaminants to facilitate purification.

Mammoth Biosciences is a San Francisco based biotech company that has built the first CRISPR-based detection platform for diagnostics. Mammoth’s novel CRISPR platform can be used and built on by partners across a variety of industries. Its DETECTR biosensing platform acts as a search engine for biology, capable of sensing any nucleic acid based biomarker, including markers for early detection of diseases ranging from infections to cancer.

Terry Pizzie, Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Discovery, commented: “Horizon is committed to leading the field in delivering the next generation of CHO cell lines to an industry where greater flexibility, increased speed to market and cost reduction are key drivers. We believe that our expertise in cell line engineering can be leveraged to address many of these issues and with the addition of Mammoth’s technology, the opportunity now exists for Horizon to become a disruptive provider of best in class engineered CHO cells to enable the production of next-generation biotherapeutics.”

Trevor Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Mammoth Biosciences, commented: “At Mammoth, we are committed to democratizing access to novel CRISPR technologies. Our founding team has already pioneered the invention of a variety of new CRISPR systems and we’re thrilled to see systems used for applications like biotherapeutic production at Horizon. We look forward to working with the Horizon team to support innovation through its platform.”


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Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)

Lorna Cuddon

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Horizon Discovery Group plc

Terry Pizzie, Chief Executive Officer

Jayesh Pankhania, Chief Financial Officer

Jon Davies, Head of Investor Relations

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 655 580

About Horizon Discovery Group

Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) ("Horizon") drives the application of gene editing and gene modulation within the global life science market – supporting scientists on the path from research to therapy.


Built upon more than a decade of experience in the engineering of cell lines, Horizon offers an unmatched portfolio of tools and services to help scientists gain a greater understanding of gene function, identify genetic drivers behind human disease, deliver biotherapeutics, cellular and gene therapies for precision medicine as well as develop and validate diagnostic workflows.


Horizon’s solutions enable almost any gene to be altered, or its function modulated, in human and other mammalian cell lines.


The Company’s customers include many of the world’s foremost academic institutes, global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as clinical diagnostic laboratories. Insight into the challenges faced by these organizations enables Horizon to focus efforts on development of innovative solutions that not only differentiate the Company’s offering, but also fuel development of the next wave of precision medicines.


Horizon is headquartered in Cambridge, UK with offices in USA and Japan.  The Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market under the ticker HZD.


About Mammoth Biosciences https://mammoth.bio/


Mammoth Biosciences is harnessing the diversity of nature to power the next-generation of CRISPR products. Mammoth aims to democratize disease detection with an easy and affordable point-of-care test that allows real-time and simultaneous detection of multiple conditions.  By leveraging its internal research and development and exclusive licenses to Cas12, Cas13 and Cas14, Mammoth can provide enhanced detection capabilities for life science research, healthcare, agriculture, environmental monitoring, biodefense and more. Based in San Francisco, Mammoth Biosciences is co-founded by CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna and led by co-founders Trevor Martin, Janice Chen, and Lucas Harrington. The firm is backed by top institutional and individual investors including Mayfield, NFX, and 8VC, Brook Byers, and Tim Cook.