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Horizon Discovery Licenses CRISPR for Use in Cell Lines for Biomanufacturing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Horizon Discovery today announced it has amended its license with ERS Genomics for CRISPR/Cas9-edited cell lines, gaining full commercial rights to use CRISPR-edited cell lines in manufacturing therapeutics.

ERS Genomics is a company set up to commercialize the CRISPR/Cas9 intellectual property rights assigned to Emmanuelle Charpentier, of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin.

"This extends Horizon's coverage for CRISPR to include virtually all non-therapeutic applications, strengthening its core capabilities and keeping the company at the forefront of gene editing," Horizon said in a statement, adding that a recent alliance between ERS Genomics, Crispr Therapeutics, Caribou Biosciences, and Intellia Therapeutics provides freedom to operate in the space.

Financial and other terms of the license amendment were not disclosed.

Horizon will also join a UK government-funded collaboration with Solentim to develop an automated genome editing platform in mammalian cell lines, aiming to increase throughput and reduce costs. The collaboration has landed a grant from Innovate UK of £764,300 ($922,881), of which Horizon will receive £523,000, and is expected to last two years.

Horizon CEO Darrin Disley said the collaboration "has the potential to have a major impact on the rate and cost of cell line development for Horizon, further strengthening our competitive market position, and accelerating the move from customer-performed cell line development to a fully outsourced model, similar to what has occurred in the research antibody market."