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Horizon Discovery Acquires Haplogen Genomics for £6.0M

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Horizon Discovery today announced it will acquire Vienna-based cell engineering firm Haplogen Genomics.

The purchase is for an initial consideration of £6.0 million ($9.1 million) in cash and the issue of new ordinary shares with further potential earn-out payments based on future performance. The purchase consists of gross cash consideration of £3.0 million and the issue of new ordinary shares having an aggregate value of £3.0 million. The deal includes the potential for payments of stock worth up to £3.9 million based on future performance.

Haplogen Genomics provides a high-throughput cell line engineering service. Haploid cells, containing only one copy of genes, are a system for suitable in vitro genetic analyses, but can be much easier to create than normal cell lines, since one copy of a gene needs to be knocked out instead of two. The platform enables precisely defined genetic changes to be introduced to proprietary human HAP-1, KBM-7, and eHAP cell lines that have been engineered to exhibit pure haploid genetics.

Horizon said in a statement that the speed and efficiency associated with this new platform will enable it to launch an immediate commercial offering for the broader academic market, for which custom engineered human cell lines have previously been largely out of reach.

"This acquisition is a continuation of our ambition, stated at the time of our IPO, of expanding our intellectual property portfolio, product development capabilities, and commercial offerings to gain broader access to important markets, especially basic academic research," Horizon CEO Darrin Disley said in a statement. "The team in Vienna has proven in a short time that they can be a very effective and competitive force in the field of genome engineering."

Haplogen will be renamed Horizon Genomics and will function as a wholly owned subsidiary of Horizon. It will maintain its laboratory and office space in Vienna.

In October 2014, Haplogen signed an exclusive, worldwide distribution deal with Horizon.