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Horizon Discovery Establishes Center of Excellence at Washington University

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Horizon Discovery today said that it has established a Center of Excellence at Washington University in St. Louis.

The CoE for gene editing technologies includes Washington University School of Medicine's Bright Institute, which is focused on conducting functional genomics, molecular imaging, and other high-throughput technologies for mechanism- and discovery-based science. Researchers there will work with Horizon on translating genomic data into disease model cell lines with a focus on cancer.

Under its CoE program, Cambridge, UK-based Horizon provides training and open access to its rAAV-mediated human gene-editing platform, called Genesis.

Washington University will exclusively license to Horizon human cell lines developed at the university and the Bright Institute and in return will receive future product royalties. The collaboration is part of Horizon's strategy to generate at least 2500 new X-MAN (gene X- Mutant And Normal) models across a range of disease types including cancer, cardiovascular, neurological, and auto-immune diseases, it said.

"With these cell lines, we will use Horizon's Genesis technology to alter specific genes involved in the development and progression of cancer," Jason Weber, associate professor of medicine in the Division of Oncology and a researcher at the BRIGHT Institute, said in a statement. "We can also test whether existing or investigational drugs are effective against these models of human cancer, an important early step in the development of personalized medicine."

Further terms of the alliance were not disclosed.