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2 November, 2020 - 09:35 By Tony Quested

US swallows another Cambridge gem as Horizon sells to PerkinElmer for $383m

Horizon Discovery laboratory

The relentless march of Cambridge science & technology companies into US hands continued today as Horizon Discovery, a world gene editing leader, revealed it was being acquired by Wall Street quoted PerkinElmer for $383 million.

In recent weeks NVIDIA has swallowed Arm for $40 billion, DisplayLink was sold to Synaptics, which is already plotting major redundancies in Cambridge, and F-star reversed into a NASDAQ IPO.

The swoop by Massachusetts  based PerkinElmer for Horizon is an all-cash offer and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

It is all upside for PerkinElmer which says it will expand its portfolio of leading, automated life sciences discovery and applied genomics solutions to include gene editing and gene modulation tools. 

The acquisition will enable PerkinElmer to better partner with academic and pharma/biopharma scientists to help meet research challenges. It will also provide an opportunity to provide important tools for exploring next generation cell engineering and customised cell lines for relevant biological models – important for the future of precision medicine.

Horizon has been a sitting duck since incredibly deciding to part company with inspirational CEO Darrin Disley. The company is a leading provider of CRISPR and RNAi reagents, cell models, cell engineering and base editing offerings which help scientists better understand gene function, genetic disease drivers and biotherapeutics delivery. 

Horizon has approximately 400 employees across multiple countries, including the UK, the US and Japan and reported revenue from continuing operations of $75.5 million in 2019.

PerkinElmer’s discovery and applied genomics solutions feature a range of immunoassay platforms, high content screening (HCS) and in vivo imaging, along with microfluidics, robotic liquid handling technologies and next-generation sequencing library preparation kits.

Unifying PerkinElmer’s and Horizon’s complementary offerings across the genotypic and phenotypic approaches for drug discovery and development will help researchers accelerate decision making with better information, automated workflows and greater quality and control over data.

Prahlad Singh, president and CEO at PerkinElmer said: “One of the key fundamentals for molecular research and drug discovery is being able to knock down a gene or function and explore the results to discover actionable insights and new clinical trial candidates faster. 

“We’re excited to team up with Horizon not only to add CRISPR and RNAi capabilities into our existing portfolio but also to leverage our combined life sciences screening and applied genomics solutions to help propel the next phase of cell and gene research for precision medicine. 

“PerkinElmer leads with science and creates total solutions to bring today’s leading innovations together for our customers, while also working at the cutting edge of what’s next. Today’s announcement delivers on both of these fronts.”

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