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6 April, 2020 - 12:09 By Kate Sweeney

Horizon Discovery boosts armoury in $8.21bn cell market

Horizon Discovery, the Cambridge-based world leader in gene editing, has expanded its technology capability with a first-to-market coup.

A super-smart move has seen the business add an arrayed CRISPR knockout screening service for primary human B cells to its cell-based screening services.

Horizon’s services suite can now encompass screening of both primary T and B cells. The company says the extended armoury can impact critical disease areas such as cancer, infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders like COVID-19, Burkitt’s lymphoma and multiple sclerosis.

Primary human cells, which are cells that are freshly isolated from donors, are known to be difficult to study in the lab. However, working with these cells brings scientists one step closer to healthy or diseased micro-environments, enabling them to better understand disease etiology and therapeutic mechanisms, and thereby advance drug discovery and development programs.

Horizon has already applied its gene editing and cell culture expertise to maintain the viability of primary human T cells to enable functional genomic screens and has been delivering data-rich information to customers working in drug discovery and development. 

The new B cell screening service – the first of its kind in the market – will enable researchers to identify genes that affect the function of B cells and examine how this impacts other immune cell types, particularly in the broad array of disease areas mentioned above.

Horizon CEO Terry Pizzie, said: “The interest in harnessing the immune system for effective therapies continues to grow, with the global cell therapy market predicted to reach $8.21bn by 2025. 

“Expanding our services to encompass screening of both primary T and B cells is another example of our commitment to apply decades of gene editing experience in support of drug discovery and development for the treatment of human disease.”

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