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Horizon Discovery Announces Collaboration with Major Pharmaceutical Company on Single Cell RNAseq-Linked CRISPR Screening

Co-development and implementation of a new CRISPR-based screening technology platform to address critical gaps in target ID and validation

by Horizon Discovery Group
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terryTerry Pizzie, CEO, Horizon
Horizon Discovery Group plc, a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation technologies, announces that is has entered into a collaboration with a global pharma partner to co-develop and apply a novel cutting-edge research tool for target identification and validation.

As part of this collaboration, Horizon will lead the development and application of single cell RNAseq-linked pooled CRISPR screening using a key discovery paradigm of the pharma partner. Horizon will use the development process, acquired infrastructure, and optimization data in order to further develop and improve these tools to offer to future partners, as part of its research services operations.

Functional genomic screening with CRISPR-Cas9 technology has provided a powerful and precise way to identify and validate novel drug targets, and to elucidate unknown drug mechanisms. The depth of biological insight possible from Horizon’s single cell RNAseq-linked CRISPR screening platform will allow researchers to ask far more complex experimental questions and speed up the time from discovery to validation by integrating the effect of gene editing with complex phenotypic signature mapping. With this technology, pathways, biomarkers and cell function can all be studied and revealed with ultra-rich data.

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Horizon’s pooled format screens offer researchers access to highly robust whole-genome level analyses that yield outstanding data quality.  Whilst this approach has proven a potent research tool, it is currently challenging to adequately multiplex the analysis from these screens to evaluate complex biological phenomena. Coupling pooled screening to single cell RNAseq however, allows the opportunity to address the impact of CRISPR-based gene modification on a global transcriptomic level, at single cell resolution. This enables customers to address critical gaps in target identification and validation as they work to develop novel and more effective drug therapies.

“Pooled CRISPR-Cas9 knockout screens have rapidly become an important tool in novel drug target identification and validation. Horizon continues to innovate in this important area, having launched our CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) and CRISPR activation (CRISPRa) screening service in 2017, and through the development of RNAseq-linked CRISPR screening,” commented Terry Pizzie, chief executive officer, Horizon Discovery. “The co-development of this tool with a major pharma partner provides a substantive advance to Horizon’s already world-leading screening capabilities, offering our customers cutting-edge solutions not available elsewhere.”

More information about Horizon’s CRISPR screening platforms and the quality of data these produce can be found at: