Horizon Discovery signs collaboration and license agreement with Mammoth Biosciences

Cambridge, UK, 13 January 2020: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) ("Horizon" or “the Group”), a global leader in the application of gene editing and gene modulation technologies, has announced that it has signed a collaboration and license agreement with Mammoth Biosciences (“Mammoth” or the “Company”), to access Mammoth’s novel CRISPR platform and thereby facilitate delivery of a new generation of genetically engineered CHO cells for the production of biotherapeutics such as therapeutic antibodies.

Horizon’s Bioproduction business unit currently offers the biopharmaceutical industry a well characterized CHO cell line and customized services to facilitate the development and identification of best performing gene-edited cell lines. Since entering this market five years ago, the business unit has generated significant sales revenues, secured more than 60 licensing engagements, and seen customers succeed with at least five Investigational New Drug (IND) filings. This agreement supports the Company’s strategy to focus on its core high growth markets, while continuing to ensure that its customers have access to the latest and most advanced gene editing technologies.

Under the terms of the agreement, the companies will collaborate to optimize certain CRISPR tools to rapidly develop proprietary CHO cell lines. In these cell lines, selected genes are ‘knocked out’ to improve performance parameters such as increasing productivity or reducing naturally-occurring contaminants to facilitate purification.

Mammoth Biosciences is a San Francisco based biotech company that has built the first CRISPR-based detection platform for diagnostics. Mammoth’s novel CRISPR platform can be used and built on by partners across a variety of industries. Its DETECTR biosensing platform acts as a search engine for biology, capable of sensing any nucleic acid based biomarker, including markers for early detection of diseases ranging from infections to cancer.

Terry Pizzie, Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Discovery, commented: “Horizon is committed to leading the field in delivering the next generation of CHO cell lines to an industry where greater flexibility, increased speed to market and cost reduction are key drivers. We believe that our expertise in cell line engineering can be leveraged to address many of these issues and with the addition of Mammoth’s technology, the opportunity now exists for Horizon to become a disruptive provider of best in class engineered CHO cells to enable the production of next-generation biotherapeutics.”

Trevor Martin, Chief Executive Officer of Mammoth Biosciences, commented: “At Mammoth, we are committed to democratizing access to novel CRISPR technologies. Our founding team has already pioneered the invention of a variety of new CRISPR systems and we’re thrilled to see systems used for applications like biotherapeutic production at Horizon. We look forward to working with the Horizon team to support innovation through its platform.”

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Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)
Lorna Cuddon
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Email: lorna.cuddon@zymecommunications.com