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Horizon, AZ Enter Oncology Research Pact

By Kristin Brooks | January 7, 2014

To explore relevant genotypes aimed at identifying novel drug targets

Horizon Discovery and AstraZeneca have entered into a research collaboration and license agreement to explore oncology-relevant genotypes with the goal of identifying and validating novel drug targets. This is the second collaboration between the companies, including an oncology discovery program to explore Horizon’s kinase target program, HD-001.
Horizon will explore a defined set of genotypes for synthetic lethality, and will provide in vitro screening using its siRNA platform. Any resulting RNAi hits will then be validated by Horizon using techniques including pathway analysis, functional assays, or gene knock-in/knockout assays. AZ has exclusivity options for any validated targets. Horizon will receive an undisclosed upfront payment and is eligible to receive as much as $88 million in milestones if any compounds are developed by AZ.
Dr. Darrin M. Disley, chief executive officer at Horizon Discovery, said, “We are delighted to have extended our relationship with AstraZeneca’s Oncology team with this latest agreement. Horizon is uniquely placed in the translational genomics field for investigation of synthetic lethality, as our X-MAN isogenic disease models incorporate patient-relevant genetic context, and allow large scale, timely and systematic screens for the first time. Combined with our high-throughput RNAi and bioinformatics technology platforms, we have a powerful offering.”