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Horizon Discovery introduces Myeloid DNA Reference Standard to support genetic testing of leukemia

Cambridge, UK, 24 September, 2018: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) (“Horizon” or “the Company”), a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation technologies, today announced the launch of its Myeloid DNA Reference Standard. The first-to-market large cell-line derived myeloid cancer reference standard designed enables faster, more reliable and more cost-effective assay validation, to support the market in bringing routine testing into practice.

The latest addition to the Company’s portfolio of over 100 Reference Standards, the Myeloid DNA Reference Standard has been developed using Horizon’s specialist gene editing technology, to deliver a cell line-derived reference standard containing 22 mutations across 19 genes that are commonly associated with myeloid cancer. This provides genetic testing laboratories and assay developers with a tool to effectively validate and optimize myeloid genetic tests with DNA of known genotype which closely mimics the genomic DNA format and mutations present in real patient samples. The Myeloid DNA Reference Standard contains variants in more genes than most clinical material, enabling quality assurance goals to be reached faster.

Blood cancers have seen increased biomarker identification and associated targeted drug development in recent years, resulting in an increase in genetic testing of myeloid cancer. There are now multiple pre-designed, multi-gene next generation sequencing (NGS) assays on the market, in addition to custom-designed myeloid gene panels. Myeloid cancer has more associated actionable gene targets that can direct clinical treatment options than are available for solid tumors, meaning that high quality, accurate genetic diagnosis is vital to guide treatment of cancer patients. The new Myeloid DNA Reference Standard fulfils the need for clinical testing labs and assay developers to access well-characterized, multigene multiplexed reference standards.

Terry Pizzie, Chief Executive Officer, Horizon Discovery Group, commented: “This is an exciting new launch for Horizon as it is the largest cell-line derived reference standard hitting the market that is focused exclusively on myeloid cancer. Horizon has successfully developed an extensive range of genetically defined, human genomic reference standards already, and the Myeloid DNA Reference Standard further demonstrates our commitment to providing the right tools our customers need to tackle the challenges of oncology genetic testing.”