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TMCNet:  Horizon Discovery Signs Supply and Distribution Agreement with Sirion Biotech GmbH

[February 17, 2014]

Horizon Discovery Signs Supply and Distribution Agreement with Sirion Biotech GmbH

CAMBRIDGE, England --(Business Wire)--

Horizon Discovery™ (Horizon), a leading provider of research tools to support translational genomics and the development of personalized medicines, today announced it has signed a supply and distribution agreement with Sirion Biotech GmbH (Sirion). Under the terms of the agreement Horizon's customers can now access Sirion's highly efficient RNAiONE custom shRNA development services, as well as Sirion's off-the-shelf validated shRNA and cDNA over-expression reagents. Through this partnership Horizon now offers a broad spectrum of gene modulation technologies ranging from stable shRNA knockdown and cDNA overexpression systems to the ability to edit endogenous genes via rAAV, ZFN and CRISPR platforms.

Short hairpin RNA (shRNA) has become a staple of the research community for silencing genes, but identifying the most effective shRNA sequence to provide the greatest level of gene suppression often presents a problem. Sirion's RNAiONE™ platform is a validation system that reliably produces shRNAs with a gene silencing efficiency often greater than 90%.

The platform is being made available through Horizon as a custom service that delivers a shRNA sequence, transduction-ready lentivirus or a treated knockdown cell pool. Inducible knock-down and over-expression systems are also available, offering a valuable tool for functional gene analysis and to help deal with the adaptive capacity of cells. Horizon will also be making available over 125 off-the-shelf RNAiONE validated shRNAs and over 70 cDNA overexpression constructs. These will be available as transduction ready lentivirus particles or as plasmids.

"Gene over-expression and knockdown studies are important to both basic and pre-clinical research, helping to determine the specific roles of genes and potentially leading to the discovery of novel targets for new drugs," said Dr Jon Moore, VP, Oncology, Horizon Discovery. "Issues surrounding knockdown efficiency and the associated phenotypic variation have led to inconsistent results. The high silencing efficiency ensured by RNAiONE gives reearchers confidence in their functional genomics investigations."


Dr Darrin M Disley, CEO of Horizon Discovery, commented: "Horizon is committed to offering products and services both in-house and through strategic partnerships that enable scientists to address their translational genomics needs. Following the recent announcement of our distributor agreement with Haplogen, the addition of Sirion's products and the custom shRNA services to our commercial offering further extends our ability to fulfill this mission, as well as supporting Horizon's overall growth strategy."

Christian Thirion, Managing Director of Sirion Biotech, said: "Horizon is well respected in the industry as a leading translational genomics company. It is a natural step forward to complement Horizon's drug discovery services and products with Sirion Biotech's RNAiONE technology, and I am confident that this partnership will provide researchers with optimal integrated solutions for translational genomics. We are happy that this agreement with Horizon will enable us to broadcast our technology to a larger audience."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

About Horizon Discovery www.horizondiscovery.com/

Horizon Discovery Limited (Horizon) is a leading provider of research tools to support translational genomics research and the development of personalized medicines. Using GENESIS™, Horizon is able to alter almost any endogenous gene sequence of a human or mammalian cell-line quickly, reliably and without introducing unwanted and confounding genotypes and/or phenotypes.

Horizon has applied GENESIS™ to create over 500 X-MAN™ cell lines, the world's first source of genetically-defined and patient-relevant human cell lines, accurately modeling the disease-causing mutations found in cancer patients. These 'patients-in-a-test-tube' are being used by academic and industry leaders to identify the effect of individual or compound genetic mutations on drug activity, patient responsiveness, and resistance, which may lead to the successful prediction of which patient sub-groups will respond to currently-available and future drug treatments. This enables the design of shorter, more focused, and less expensive clinical trials, ultimately providing the tools to identify the 'right drugs' for the 'right patients' based upon the unique genetic mutations that define their disease.

In addition to the X-MAN™ cell lines, Horizon provides GENESIS™, GENASSIST™, X-MAN™ and Haplogen Human Gene Trap derived products and services, with industrial application in: bio-pharmaceutical process optimization; clinical diagnostic development; drug discovery & development; and the provision of reference standards for genomic-based clinical research platforms.

About Sirion Biotech www.sirion-biotech.com

Sirion Biotech was founded in Munich in 2005 with the idea of enabling novel cell models closer to reality than ever before. This required the assembly of an all-encompassing, novel viral vector platform. Both, designing de novo viral vectors and the subsequent creation of custom cell models will pave the way for superior compound development in the life sciences. SIRION's technologies have been validated in over 300 single projects with more than 100 academic and industrial partners. As a result, cell models for drug discovery and development have become highly reliable, as have the use of new viral vectors in gene therapy and vaccine studies.


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