Horizon Discovery Group plc (Horizon) has announced that a consortium led by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) on behalf of UCB Celltech and Lonza Biologics and including Horizon as a full partner, have been awarded £6.2 million as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI).
The AMSCI program consists of an approximate total £11.3M of costs with approximately £6.2 million in grant funding being delivered by the UK Government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Innovate UK and Birmingham City Council, to support the future needs of biologics manufacturing in the UK. Horizon will receive up to £652,000 which will be used to expand research performed in its Bioproduction business.
This initiative will support the future needs of biologics manufacturing and will help develop next-generation production systems so that the most efficacious and cost-effective therapies are made available to patients.
Horizon will use its gene editing and screening expertise to develop a high throughput platform designed to accelerate the development of novel and improved Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cell lines. Horizon will introduce specific genetic changes into these CHO cell lines, allowing better decisions to be made on potential performance improvements for biologic drug manufacturing.
Dr Darrin M. Disley, Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Discovery Group commented: “To be part of this AMSCI initiative and to be recognized by the Government with this grant is an endorsement of our leading capabilities in gene editing and we are grateful for this opportunity.”
Dr Paul Morrill, President, Products, Horizon Discovery Group, added: “Horizon, along with UCB and the other consortium partners, recognizes the importance of strengthening the biomanufacturing supply chain in order to deliver the next generation of biological medicines. Enhancing cell line function through gene editing is a critical path activity towards this outcome. This initiative, alongside the recent Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst funding, further reinforces Horizon’s reputation as a driver of innovation for biomanufacturing.”