Horizon Discovery, a UK-based specialist in the application of gene editing and modulation technologies, will provide access to a novel base editing technology licensed from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, for use in therapeutic, diagnostic and services applications.
This technology is incorporated into Horizon’s next-gen gene editing platform to enable the development of novel therapeutics that rely on engineering patient’s cells either directly in the body (gene therapy), or externally before transplanting back into the patient (cell therapy).
The company formed an exclusive partnership with Rutgers in January 2019 to further develop the novel base editing technology invented by Dr. Shengkan Jin, associate professor of pharmacology, and co-inventor Dr. Juan C. Collantes, post-doctoral research fellow at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and has since been funding research in base editing at the University while undertaking its own evaluation and proof-of-concept studies.
Horizon has a number of internal programs designed to accelerate the clinical uptake of this technology and is now seeking 3–5 partners to assess and shape the development of its Pin-point base editing platform.
The company will offer partners access to a novel system that could be used to progress more effective multi-gene knockout cell therapy programs through clinical development with an improved safety profile.
Partners will also gain access to the Company’s expertise in genome engineering of different cell types, access to early technical data, and influence over the direction of future development.
“The technology could have a significant impact in enabling cell therapies to be progressed through clinical trials and towards commercialisation,” said Dr. Jonathan Frampton, Corporate Development Partner, Horizon Discovery.
Dr. S. David Kimball, Senior Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Rutgers University, added: “The gene editing technology developed by Rutgers has the potential to revolutionise how scientists think about their search for better options and outcomes in the treatment of disease. It has the potential to solve some of the most persistent global health challenges.
“This partnership with Horizon Discovery is paving the way to deliver biotherapies for precision medicine and diagnostics and improve human health.”