Horizon Discovery Wins a Medical Futures Innovation Award for GENESIS™ Platform
News Dec 02, 2008
Horizon Discovery has announced that it had beaten off intense nationwide competition from over 500 entrants to win a Medical Futures Innovation Award (MFIA) in the field of cancer. The company has also been short-listed from the 26 award winners for the MFIA Best Business Proposition of the year award.
The judging process is carried out by an international panel of clinical and commercial experts, including; Sir Bruce Keogh, Medical Director for the NHS; Brain expert, Professor Mike Richards, National Cancer Director and; Dr David Gillen, Medical Director of Pfizer UK. The judges were impressed by Horizon’s gene-engineering platform known as GENESIS™.
GENESIS enables normal human cells to be converted into cancer cells by the introduction of genetic mutations that either: cause the onset of cancer in some patients or can result in up to 90% of cancers becoming resistant to currently available drugs. The availability of these cell models enables researchers to develop a range of tests and new medicines that will enable doctors to tailor treatment and follow-up care based on the needs of individual cancer patients.
Horizon scientific co-founders Dr Chris Torrance (CEO) and Professor Alberto Bardelli (Principle Scientific Advisor) have made it their mission to put patients at the centre of research into future cancer drugs. They believe that targeted research will improve patient survival rates and avoid many of the debilitating symptoms experienced during current chemotherapy treatment.
Horizon has used GENESIS to develop over 90 accurate models of human lung, breast, colorectal and other forms of cancer. This X-MAN™ (Mutant And Normal) army is being deployed by global pharmaceutical companies to speed up and rationalize every step of the drug discovery process; from the identification of new “patient-relevant” targets and drugs, to the design of clinical trials that are centered around the groups of patients most likely to respond based on their genetic profile.
Many of the key stakeholders in healthcare will benefit from this “personalized” approach. Horizon believes that this targeted research will save years on current drug development times, which often takes up to 15 years and also save hundreds of millions of dollars in wasted development costs.
Previous work by the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium (IMSGC) has identified 233 genetic risk variants. However, these only account for about 20% of overall disease risk, with the remaining genetic culprits proving elusive. A new study has tracked down four of these hard-to-find genes.READ MORE