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Horizon Discovery, Axol Ink Deal to Develop, Market Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Horizon Discovery has formed a strategic partnership with Axol Bioscience to develop and commercialize genomically modified and differentiated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for neuronal and cardiovascular research, the companies announced today. 

"This partnership builds on Axol’s strong position in the use of stem cell technology, and the combination of Horizon's gene editing expertise with Axol's experience in working with iPSCs will offer valuable new tools for researchers," Axol Chief Business Officer Sanj Kumar said in a statement.

The firms said they will generate matched isogenic pairs of normal and diseased models, encompassing clinically relevant mutations. Originating iPSCs will be derived from different patient genetic backgrounds, then selectively modified into neuronal or cardiac cells to examine the effects of the changes. The companies added that they will also accommodate customized orders.

Horizon and Axol will jointly market and sell the products and services resulting from their partnership. Additional terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

"IPSCs are becoming a key component of neuronal and cardiovascular research due to their stability as compared with primary cells, and hence the ability to perform genomic modifications on them," Horizon CTO Eric Rhodes added in the statement. "The partnership with Axol and resulting isogenic cell lines will offer the ability to assess the effects of disease-specific mutations against a fixed genetic background for the first time in these disease areas."