Horizon adds CRISPR screening service using ex vivo cells

By Maggie Lynch contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/teka77)
(Image: Getty/teka77)

Related tags: CRISPR, ex vivo, Immunology, validation, Cas9

Horizon Discovery expands its CRISPR screening services to meet the requirements of immunology-based research in drug discovery.

Horizon has added CRISPRko screens in ex vivo​ T lymphocytes to its CRISPR screening platforms: CRISPRko, CRISPRi (interference), and CRISPRa (activation).

The service extension will include ex vivo ​T lymphocytes and will enable the identification of new gene targets in biologically and potential therapeutically relevant settings.

Horizon adapted its CRISPRko (knockout) platform to address complex issues that have been seen with using CRISPR to screen primary T lymphocytes, especially with the introduction of the screening components and Cas9.

Horizon’s platform can potentially address these issues and enable biological processes, novel targets, and potential drug therapies to be investigated in a therapeutically relevant cell type through the application.

James Goldmeyer, Horizon product manager,  said cell lines can be compromised, impacting the identification of relevant targets, but by screening in ex vivo​ T cells, “one can ask biological questions and gain answers that are likely to be more representative of those occurring in patients and thereby reduce the numbers of clinically irrelevant hits that are taken though validation.”

Horizon CEO Terry Pizzie said in a statement that the demonstration of primary human T cells in the company’s CRISPR screening platforms is a breakthrough format –as it enables its clients working in the immune-oncology space to find gene targets and “potential therapeutic avenues”​ in biologically relevant settings instead of having to use surrogate cell lines.

Pizzie stated, “We expect that this approach will allow our customers to save considerable time and resources in downstream validation, helping them to get therapeutics to the clinic faster.”

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