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Horizon Inks Deals with NCI, NHGRI

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Horizon Discovery today said that it has inked technology access agreements with the National Cancer Institute and National Human Genome Research Institute, under which researchers at the two institutes will use Horizon's rAAV gene editing technology, called Genesis, to engineer human isogenic disease models.

The goal of the project is to create tens of new X-MAN cell lines annually to advance basic research and translational medicine. According to Cambridge, UK-based Horizon, the institutes will have an initial set of 18 projects at eight laboratories focusing on disease models for a variety of cancers including melanoma, prostate, colon, and kidney.

The agreements run for a period of three years. The partners didn't disclose financial terms of the collaboration.

As part of the agreements, NCI will serve as a Center of Excellence in gene editing. Horizon also said that it will work with researchers at NHGRI to develop the isogenic disease models for melanoma.

"The establishment of a Center of Excellence at the NCI/NHGRI is a fundamental pillar in our strategy for this program," Rob Howes, principal scientist and Center of Excellence program manager at Horizon, said in a statement. "By bringing together the quality and breadth of research at the NCI/NHGRI with Horizon's Genesis technology we will develop disease models that will underpin the research at the NCI and NHGRI. These models will have applications in basic research and throughout the drug discovery process, with the ultimate aim of improving patient survival by producing better targeted therapies."