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8 November, 2019 - 21:45 By Kate Sweeney

Horizon to divest animal research models unit to US specialist

Gene editing world leader Horizon Discovery in Cambridge UK has agreed to divest its animal research models business unit to US company Envigo RMS LLC. 

The divestment forms part of Horizon’s strategy to refocus on high growth areas within its core market and is expected to be completed within 30-45 days. 

Already a well-established supplier of gene editing and gene modulation reagents, libraries and gene-edited cell models, Horizon is expanding its cell-based screening services to support drug discovery and development workflows.

Its technology suite extends from target identification to patient stratification plus engineered CHO cell lines for biotherapeutic manufacture.

Horizon’s research models business unit, which provides genetically engineered models from its premises in Boyertown, Pennsylvania and St Louis, Missouri, will be transferred to Envigo ownership, including assets and employees.

The unit uses Horizon’s gene editing expertise to produce customised models with clinically relevant gene deletions, insertions and other modifications which are then used as pre-clinical models for human genetic disease during drug discovery and development. The two companies will collaborate to ensure continuity and enable all customers to access CRISPR-edited research models for screening and other applications. Customers should continue to work with their contacts at Horizon and Envigo as they have done to date, for all projects.

Envigo, which is headquartered in the US, has more than 1,200 employees in over 20 locations across North America and Europe and is a market-leading provider of a broad range of standard research models to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, government, academia and other life science organisations.

Terry Pizzie, CEO at Horizon, said: “We are pleased to announce this transaction with a strong commercial partner, Envigo, which will provide an opportunity for the research models business to flourish within a larger, market-leading company and also deliver continuity for its many customer relationships. 

“Envigo will bring a dedicated sales channel to the organisation to supercharge the positive work already done by the Horizon sales team over the last months. Horizon will collaborate with Envigo to provide access to our experience and expertise in generating CRISPR-edited models.

“This transaction is therefore beneficial for all parties and fully in-line with our Investing for Growth strategy to focus on establishing leadership positions in our key markets.”

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