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Horizon Licenses Harvard Gene Editing IP

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Horizon Discovery announced today that it has licensed non-exclusive rights to Harvard University's intellectual property covering gene-editing technology.

The Cambridge, UK-based firm said the license covers the commercialization of products that utilize Harvard's CRISPR gene-editing technology for research use. CRISPR is an RNA-guided gene editing system that can introduce either a targeted double strand break or single strand nick in the genome of mammalian cells.

Horizon said that it will add the technology to its own Genesis gene-editing technologies platform, and added that it will soon launch a range of rAAV, CRISPR, and hybrid rAAV/CRISPR gene-editing kits and associated reagents.

"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," Eric Rhodes, CTO of Horizon Discovery, said in a statement. "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."

Financial and other terms of the license were not disclosed.

Horizon recently licensed non-exclusive rights to use Sigma-Aldrich's zinc finger nuclease technology to develop cell-based products and provide commercial gene editing services.