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Horizon Completes Acquisition of CombinatoRx from Zalicus

Published: Monday, June 02, 2014
Last Updated: Monday, June 02, 2014
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Acquisition of revenue generating and complementary business establishes Horizon’s headquarters in North America.

Horizon Discovery Group plc announces it has completed the acquisition of the CombinatoRx service business (known as the combination high throughput screening (cHTS) business) and related assets from Zalicus Inc. (Nasdaq Global Market: ZLCS), a biopharmaceutical company that discovers and develops novel treatments for patients suffering from pain, for £4.74m ($8.0m USD). 

The new business will become Horizon CombinatoRx Incorporated, a wholly owned subsidiary of Horizon. Horizon CombinatoRx, Inc. will be located in 23,000 sq. ft. of laboratory and office space in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA, providing a base for future growth of Horizon business operations in North America. 

The acquisition provides access to the unique cHTS platform and Chalice™ analytics software, which enables the screening and analysis of thousands of complementary drug combinations.  The platform will be combined with Horizon’s GENESIS™ (rAAV, CRISPR & ZFN) gene editing platform and X-MAN™ isogenic cell line technology to be able to offer services including novel phenotypic cell-based screens with compound siRNA, shRNA and sgRNA (for CRISPR based screening) libraries. 

The assets acquired by Horizon, developed through a cumulative R&D investment of over $30 million, include:

• Two fully integrated robotic screening platforms optimized for combination screening
• Outstanding customer contracts
• The Chalice informatics platform
• A highly characterized library of approximately 800 cell lines
• An extensive compound and chemical probe library

Dr Darrin M Disley, Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Discovery Group plc  commented: “The acquisition of the CombinatoRx service business not only gives Horizon a revenue generating, complementary business that has generated over $100 million of historical service revenue, but establishes Horizon in the heart of our key customer base in the East coast of the US. We look forward to unlocking the potential of the CombinatoRx business and integrating our own platform, which we believe will offer a truly unique set of services and capabilities to our customers.

“We are delighted to have completed this acquisition, within two months of our IPO, in line with the strategy outlined at our listing.”

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