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17 December, 2013 - 09:30 By News Desk

Horizon in gene editing alliance

Desktop Genetics CEO, Riley Doyle

Cambridge personalised medicines pioneer Horizon Discovery is developing gene editing technology recently licensed from Harvard in a collaboration with UK startup Desktop Genetics.

Horizon CEO, Dr Darrin Disley invested in the young business in an August funding round.

Horizon and Desktop Genetics have now joined forces to develop a CRISPR design platform. This will be used by Horizon to quickly identify the best guide-RNAs in the human genome for each gene editing task, as part of its GENESIS™ suite of gene editing technologies.

Desktop Genetics will design and implement algorithms for the new platform based on Horizon's input and CRISPR knowledge. Horizon licensed the CRISPR gene editing technology from Harvard University in September, adding to its existing rAAV and ZFN gene editing capabilities.

Through its GENESIS™ precision gene-editing platform, Horizon offers researchers an unrivalled toolbox capable of performing rapid functional genomics experiments, as well as creation of high-precision human disease models for deployment at all stages of drug discovery and diagnostic development. “Horizon is placing significant investment in ensuring our scientists and customers have access to the best gene editing technology, or combination of technologies, to most effectively achieve their goals,” said Eric Rhodes, CTO, Horizon Discovery.

“We are committed to ensuring that we continue to be able to offer our customers a best-in-class solution for their research needs.”

Riley Doyle, CEO of Desktop Genetics, said: “Desktop Genetics develops novel software tools that are optimised for applications in gene expression, antibody engineering, cell line development, functional genomics, gene-editing and protein production.

“We are excited to be working with Horizon, a leader in its field, on its application of the cutting-edge CRISPR technology, and on expanding our offerings in the growing fields of genome and cell line engineering.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Desktop Genetics CEO, Riley Doyle

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