Horizon Discovery names new CEO as revenue grows 52 per cent
Horizon Discovery, a Cambridge UK world leader in gene editing technology, unveiled a new CEO on the day it posted a 52 per cent increase in group revenue for the year to December 31.
Terry Pizzie, a promotion from within, takes the reins vacated by the inspirational Darrin Disley who left earlier this year.
Many will feel that today’s preliminary results are a legacy to the empire Dr Disley built.
Revenue was up to £36.5 million; gross margin increased to 62 per cent from 54 per cent the previous year, driven by significantly increased services business margins.
Horizon had closing cash and equivalents of £28.1m (FY16: £6.1m) strengthened by £80m gross capital raised in August 2017.
Pizzie said Horizon was uniquely positioned to capitalise on significant market opportunity with its addressable markets estimated by management to be worth £2.2 billion and growing at around 20 per cent a year.
Pizzie said: “2017 was a transformational year for the group with the acquisition of Dharmacon – which is already performing well with more value enhancement synergies becoming apparent every day; an over-subscribed £80 million fundraising; the deepening of our core gene editing capabilities; the strengthening of our commercial operations; and the rationalisation of internal operations, such that the business is fit to scale.
“These activities have significantly enhanced the group’s operations and Horizon Discovery is now a global leader in the gene editing and gene modulation market and has the technical and commercial platforms in place to deliver significant value for shareholders.
“In the first quarter the group has made a solid start to the year and is trading in line with board expectations.
“We have continued to deliver growth, while implementing operational efficiency and cost control measures that together have put the group on a path to sustainable and profitable growth.
“With a clear vision and strategy for the business, a strong team in place focused on delivery, and good long-term growth prospects from our underlying business, we have high confidence for the future.”
The new CEO joined Horizon Discovery in 2017 as head of commercial operations and has close to 30 years of leadership experience within the biotechnology tools sector.
Since joining Horizon, his impact is described as “significant as he has rapidly built a world-class commercial team, recruiting talent from across the industry.
“His actions have aligned Horizon’s commercial teams and allowed them to sell the full Horizon portfolio to all customers across different geographies as well as form teams focused on adding value to key customer accounts.”
Before joining Horizon, Pizzie worked for Pacific Biosciences, first as vice-president Europe, and later as head of global sales.
Previous leadership roles include director global commercial operations at Genetix prior to its acquisition by Danaher; and senior VP global commercial operations at Swedish biotechnology firm Biacore, where he was part of the team that reignited the company’s commercial success, culminating in its acquisition by GE Life Sciences in 2006.
Finance chief Richard Vellacott took the helm as interim CEO following Dr Disley’s departure.