- Horizon Discovery and Rutgers University on Monday formed an exclusive partnership to develop 'next generation' novel gene editing technology.

Horizon would collaborate with Rutgers University to further develop the base editing platform from the laboratory of Dr. Shengkan Jin, associate professor of pharmacology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Horizon would also fund further research in base editing at Rutgers University while undertaking evaluation and proof of concept studies at Horizon. 

As part of the agreement, Horizon had made a non-material payment to Rutgers for an option to exclusively license the base editing technology for use in all therapeutic applications, Horizon said.

The technology would have a significant impact in enabling cell therapies to be progressed through clinical development and towards commercialisation, Horizon said.

'By extending our scientific and IP capabilities, Horizon will now be able to more fully support our pharma, biotech and academic partners to deliver better cell therapy solutions to patients,' said Terry Pizzie, Horizon's Chief Executive Officer.

'The cytidine deaminase version of the technology alone could potentially be used for developing ex vivo therapeutics such as gene modified cells for sickle cell anemia and beta thalassemia, HIV resistant cells for AIDS, and over-the-shelf CAR-T cells for leukemia, as well as in vivo therapeutics for inherited genetic diseases,' said Dr. Shengkan 'Victor' Jin of Rutgers University.

At 9:06am: [LON:HZD] Horizon Discovery Group Plc share price was +0.25p at 170.75p

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