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Horizon Discovery Edit-R crRNA libraries adopted by AstraZeneca as part of its functional genomics discovery platform

Cambridge, UK, 14 September 2018: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) (“Horizon” or “the Company”), a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation technologies, today announces AstraZeneca has adopted its Edit-R™ crRNA libraries as part of AstraZeneca’s drive to establish a functional genomics discovery platform. AstraZeneca also joins the Genomics Discovery Initiative (GDI), a collaborative functional genomics screening community facilitated by Horizon.

AstraZeneca has been evaluating Horizon’s Edit-R human whole genome crRNA library for gene knockout since late 2017, and will soon add the Company’s platform of arrayed synthetic crRNA libraries for CRISPR-mediated transcriptional activation (CRISPRa). The libraries offer a powerful tool for functional genomic screens in drug discovery, providing deeper insight into biological mechanisms for the purpose of understanding disease progression, host-pathogen relationships, drug interactions, and pathway analysis.

Horizon’s Edit-R CRISPR-Cas9 synthetic crRNA libraries for both knockout (loss-of-function) and activation (gain-of-function) enable whole genome analysis in an arrayed format, allowing researchers to carry out high-content, multiparametric analyses on a one-well-per-gene basis. The portfolio includes catalog libraries for popular human and mouse gene families, in addition to druggable gene targets and the whole human genome. Bespoke collections are also available to support researchers working with a specialized gene target list.

Terry Pizzie, Chief Executive Officer, Horizon Discovery, commented: “Our ongoing relationship with AstraZeneca is providing valuable insights into the scope and capabilities of CRISPR screening, which will be of benefit to the research and discovery community, ultimately bringing drugs to market faster.”

Steve Rees, Head of Discovery Biology, IMED Biotech Unit at AstraZeneca, said: “The scientific support and degree of collaboration with the scientists at Horizon has been really impactful in ensuring we are able to harness the full potential of the platform. We have been impressed with the performance of the Edit-R synthetic crRNA, and look forward to feeding our drug discovery pipeline with data generated from the CRISPRa crRNA libraries.”