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Horizon Licenses CRISPR Gene Editing Technology from Harvard University


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Horizon Discovery (Horizon) has announced that it has entered into a non-exclusive license agreement with Harvard University to access intellectual property related to the commercialization of CRISPR gene editing technology for research use.

By adding CRISPR to its GENESIS™ precision gene-editing platform, Horizon can now offer researchers an unrivalled toolbox capable of performing rapid functional genomics experiments, as well as creation of high-precision human disease models for deployment at all stages of drug discovery and diagnostic development.

Horizon will employ all three genome editing technologies for custom client-led projects, as well as to expand on its own menu of over 500 genetically-defined off-the-shelf cell lines and related products.

In addition, the company will soon launch a range of rAAV, CRISPR and hybrid rAAV/CRISPR gene-editing kits and associated reagents, supported by Horizon’s technical team with expertise in all gene editing platforms and their application in translational research.

“Horizon’s scientists now have the freedom to choose the best technology, or combination of technologies, to most effectively achieve the specific goals for each customer project,” commented Dr. Darrin Disley, CEO of Horizon.

Dr. Disley continued, “The landscape for CRISPR IP is in a settling phase, and by licensing key IP such as this from Harvard as well as complementary IP from other organizations, Horizon is ensuring that we continue to be able to offer our customers a best-in-class solution for their research needs.”

CRISPR is an RNA-guided gene editing system which gained notoriety in late 2012 through the simultaneous publication of several seminal articles describing its ability to introduce either a targeted double strand break or single strand nick in the genome of mammalian cells.

“The introduction of a nick rather than a full double strand break offers advantages over other nuclease technologies when the goal of the project is to introduce a specific mutation rather than simply disrupting the gene,” said Eric Rhodes, CTO, Horizon Discovery. “By combining both CRISPR and ZFNs with our proprietary rAAV technology, Horizon is working to develop novel approaches that achieve levels of gene editing efficiency not previously seen when using a single approach alone.”

The intellectual property licensed from Harvard Office of Technology Development relates to inventions originating from the lab of Dr. George Church at Harvard Medical School and inventions originating at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Horizon continues to review the gene editing field for further IP licensing opportunities.

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