UK-based Horizon signed a supply and commercialisation agreement this week allowing Thermo Fisher Scientific to market and distribute its X-MAN human haploid and diploid isogenic cell line collection to its biotech and
“This is a strategic distributor deal for Horizon,” Paul Morrill, President of Products at Horizon, told this publication. “It opens up a worldwide sales channel enabling Horizon to work with all customers who our X-MAN cell lines can support.”
The cell lines are used in research drug discovery and development, as well as in pre-clinical settings.
“The cell lines have been gene-engineered to accurately model patient disease-causing genetics, for example cancer-causing mutations,” he explained. “As the cell lines are all supplied with matched controls that are genetically identical aside from the disease-causing mutation, the researchers can be sure that any effect seen on the cells is due to that genetic difference.”
One of the main advantages is that Horizon’s X-MAN cell lines overcome difficulties common when using traditionally patient-derived commercially available cell lines.
“These cell lines, even when the mutation of interest is available, are generally poorly characterized and may have a multiplicity of genomic mutations that have led to their phenotype, making attribution of phenotype to genotype very difficult.”
Furthermore, the X-MAN catalogue included diploid (cells with two natural copies of each gene) cell lines and haploid (proprietary cells engineered to have only one copy of each gene) cell lines, and – according to Morrill - Horizon is the only company with full access to all three gene editing technologies - CRISPR, ZFN and rAAV.