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GeneWorks Forms Commercial Alliance with Horizon Discovery

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GeneWorks Pty. Ltd. and Horizon Discovery Ltd. have announced a corporate-level alliance that will expand GeneWorks genomics capabilities into the field of translational medicine.

Targeted or personalized medicines represent the future of treating genetic-based diseases such as Cancer. However, their discovery is a long and attritional process that could be aided by predictive laboratory models that better represent the genetic make-up of the human cancer patient populations we are trying to treat.

Through this alliance, GeneWorks will now be able to offer researchers access to tools and services for creating, studying and deploying genetically-defined human cancer disease models to aid in the identification of patient-relevant drug targets and; the discovery of new drugs targeted at the patient populations most likely to respond based upon genetic make-up.

GENESIS, a proprietary virally-mediated homologous recombination technique, is used to knock-in disease-causing genetic mutations (single, double, triple) into the endogenous gene loci of normal cells. The result is model in-vitro systems for interrogating the selectivity of cancer drugs with respect to diseased versus normal patient genotypes. The technique enables the routine creation of patient-relevant models within 3 to 6 months where previously it would have taken up to 24months using conventional DNA-based homologous recombination.

“Peter Guilhaus, CEO of GeneWorks says “cancer drugs are notoriously un-selective towards cancer cells versus normal cells, and there is a trend to developing targeted drugs that better target the fundamental genetic causes of cancer.  However, cancer is not a single disease; every person’s cancer is defined by the presence of several genetic mutations; the spectrum of which will be highly ‘personalized’. X-MAN cell lines separate the cancer-gene spectrum to aid the discovery of specifically targeted drugs that can be used singularly or in combination”