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Horizon Discovery to Collaborate with Novartis

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Horizon Discovery and Novartis have struck a collaboration for cancer models that will be used in Novartis' drug research programs.

Cambridge, UK-based Horizon Discovery said this week that under the four-year strategic collaboration it will use its Genesis gene engineering platform to develop a panel of genetically defined mutant and normal (X-MAN) cancer models for the drug company. In return, Novartis will pay Horizon up-front, milestone, and renewal fees of undisclosed value.

X-MAN cell lines could be used to target the root causes of cancer by providing a source of human cell-types that have a specific cancer causing gene, said Horizon.

"Horizon's proprietary GENESIS platform enables the routine generation of a wide-range of human disease models that were difficult or impossible to generate using historical gene-engineering techniques," Horizon CEO Chris Torrance said in a statement.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.