CAMBRIDGE, UK — Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) ("Horizon", “the Company” or “the Group”), a global leader in the application of gene editing and gene modulation technologies, today announces an agreement to divest the Group’s animal research models business unit (“the business unit”) to Envigo RMS LLC (“Envigo”). The divestment forms part of Horizon’s strategy to refocus on high growth areas within its core market and is expected to be completed within 30-45 days, subject to customary closing conditions. Already a well-established supplier of gene editing and gene modulation reagents, libraries, and gene-edited cell models, Horizon is expanding its cell-based screening services to support drug discovery and development workflows, from target identification to patient stratification, and engineered CHO cell lines for biotherapeutic manufacture.

Horizon’s research models business unit, which provides genetically engineered models from its premises in Boyertown, PA and St Louis, MO, USA, will be transferred to Envigo ownership, including assets and employees. The business unit uses Horizon’s gene editing expertise to produce customized models with clinically relevant gene deletions, insertions and other modifications, which are then used as pre-clinical models for human genetic disease during drug discovery and development. The two companies will collaborate to ensure continuity and enable all customers to access CRISPR-edited research models for screening and other applications. Customers should continue to work with their contacts at Horizon and Envigo as they have done to date, for all projects.

Envigo, which is headquartered in the US, has more than 1,200 employees in more than 20 locations across North America and Europe, and is a market-leading provider of a broad range of standard research models to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, government, academia, and other life science organizations.

Terry Pizzie, chief executive officer of Horizon Discovery, commented: “We are pleased to announce this transaction with a strong commercial partner, Envigo, which will provide an opportunity for the research models business to flourish within a larger, market-leading company and also deliver continuity for its many customer relationships. Envigo will bring a dedicated sales channel to the organization to super-charge the positive work already done by the Horizon sales team over the last months. Horizon will collaborate with Envigo to provide access to our experience and expertise in generating CRISPR-edited models. This transaction is therefore beneficial for all parties and fully in-line with our Investing for Growth strategy to focus on establishing leadership positions in our key markets.”

Dr. Adrian Hardy, president and CEO of Envigo, added: “Envigo has a strong strategic rationale for this acquisition. We already provide the industry’s broadest range of research models to the global biopharma, academia, government, and life science organizations, so we can provide the necessary scale and commercial infrastructure to more broadly market genetically engineered models and associated services. 

The genetic-modification technologies expertise of the acquired business is an important addition to our portfolio to enable us to further expand the range of products and services available to Envigo customers. We are delighted to welcome the team to the Envigo family and look forward to a strong collaboration with Horizon in future activities.”