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Horizon Discovery, University of Washington Partner on Gene Editing Technology

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) –Horizon Discovery and the University of Washington today announced a two-year collaboration to create a gene editing process in inducible human pluripotent stem cells.

Under the terms of the deal, which builds on an agreement between the two parties in 2009, Horizon will fund a $400,000 research program at the university. In return, the Cambridge, UK-based firm receives exclusive rights to new intellectual property resulting from the work.

The collaboration will use rAAV, or recombinant adeno-associated virus, gene editing vectors to enable the creation of thousands of new X-Man cell models, which the partners said is the world's first source of genetically-defined and patient relevant human cell lines.

In 2008, Horizon reached an exclusive licensing agreement with the university covering a gene technology that is used to create the X-Man cell lines.

The research to be conducted under the current agreement will be led by David Russell, the inventor of rAAV-gene editing and a professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

In a statement, Horizon and the university said that the research will "enable the generation of diverse arrays of tissue-derived disease models for personalized medicine R&D applications, as well as optimized reagents for the production of biological drugs/materials and ex vivo-derived tissue therapies."