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Horizon Discovery to Acquire CombinatoRx from Zalicus

May 15, 2014

Adds high-throughput screening, drug combination sciences and bioinformatics expertise

Horizon Discovery Group has entered an agreement to acquire the CombinatoRx service business and related assets from Zalicus Inc., a biopharma company that discovers and develops novel pain treatments, for $8.0 million. The new business will become Horizon CombinatoRx, Inc., a subsidiary of Horizon.
Horizon CombinatoRx will be located in a 23,000-sq.-ft. lab with office space in Cambridge, MA, providing a base for operations and future growth in North America. It will provide access to its combination high throughput screening (cHTS) platform and Chalice analytics software, which enables the screening and analysis of thousands of complementary drug combinations.
Together with Horizon’s GENESIS (rAAV, CRISPR & ZFN) gene editing platform and X-MAN isogenic cell line technology, Horizon CombinatoRx will be able to offer services including novel phenotypic cell-based screens with compound siRNA, shRNA and sgRNA (for CRISPR based screening) libraries, with the potential to identify personalized medicine regimens to treat serious diseases.
Jeb Ledell, vice president of Corporate Operations, Zalicus Inc. will become chief operating officer of the subsidiary, and will lead a dedicated operations and R&D team. Horizon’s Lydia Meyer Turkson will serve as vice president (U.S.) business development.
“We have been very impressed by the scientific excellence, passion and resilience of the CombinatoRx service business over many years, and we are delighted to have acquired the business and assets from Zalicus,” said Dr. Darrin Disley, chief executive officer of Horizon Discovery Group. “The scalable and proven cHTS and Chalice platform combined with our translational genomics technologies significantly broadens the portfolio of discovery research services we can offer to our global customer base. We look forward working with the CombinatoRx team.”