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Horizon Discovery extends CRISPR Screening Service to primary human T cells

Horizon Discovery extends CRISPR Screening Service to primary human T cells

  • Extended screening service offers novel capabilities for immuno-oncology research in ex vivo T lymphocytes
  • Service expansion parallels requirements of immunology-based research in drug discovery 

Cambridge, UK, 21 January, 2019: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) (“Horizon” or “the Company”), a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation technologies, today announced the extension of its CRISPR Screening Service to include ex vivo T lymphocytes. The service extension meets the requirements of immunology-based research in drug discovery, enabling new gene targets to be identified in biologically and potentially therapeutically relevant settings.

CRISPR screens in primary T lymphocytes have proved challenging, owing to complex issues around the introduction of the screening components and Cas9 in particular. Horizon has adapted its established CRISPRko (knockout) platform to address these issues and to deliver a robust screening platform in human T lymphocytes, which will enable complex biological processes, novel targets and more effective drug therapies to be investigated in a therapeutically relevant cell type.

Horizon has added CRISPRko screens in ex vivo T lymphocytes to its established CRISPR screening formats – CRISPRko, CRISPRi (interference) and CRISPRa (activation) – in cancer cell lines. The Company’s extension of its CRISPRko Screening Service strengthens its existing immuno-oncology platform and reinforces its commitment to supporting researchers working in this rapidly growing field of research.

Terry Pizzie, Chief Executive Officer, Horizon Discovery Group, commented: “The successful demonstration of primary human T cells in Horizon’s CRISPR screening platforms is a breakthrough format for our clients working in the immuno-oncology space; enabling them to find gene targets and potential therapeutic avenues in an immediately biologically relevant setting rather than having to work through surrogate cell lines. 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.” 

For more information about Horizon’s most recent T cell screen please visit: https://dharmacon.horizondiscovery.com/resources/featured-articles/lentiviral-sgrna-crispr-screening-t-cells/

For more information about Horizon’s CRISPR Screening Service please visit: https://www.horizondiscovery.com/research-services/functional-genomic-screening/crispr-screening


About Horizon’s High-throughput Functional Genomic Screening platform:

Horizon has established a core expertise in functional genomic screening using CRISPR-Cas9, gene trap, and siRNA screening platforms. These techniques are used to explore the function of genes by interrupting their sequence or disrupting the process by which they lead to the generation of protein. In this way, these screens can be used to find and validate novel drug targets, to identify mechanisms of drug resistance or sensitivity, and to aid with patient stratification. Horizon performs these screens in both human cell lines and also in haploid cell lines, which represent a simplified and efficient model with which to explore gene function as these cells have only one copy of each gene. 

About CRISPRi and CRISPRa screening:

CRISPRi, which induces gene repression, and CRISPRa, which activates gene expression, provide new and exciting applications for CRISPR screening. CRISPRi screening is especially well suited to study the function of genes that when knocked out are essential for cell survival, or that are amplified to provide a functional effect, both classes of genes that are not amenable to CRISPR knockout screens. CRISPRa screening enables, for the first time, the study of activation-linked responses on genome-wide level. 


  • CRISPR: A gene editing technology that enables genomic modifications in a wide variety of organisms and tissues with high efficiency
  • Human T lymphocyte: A form of white blood cell that plays a central role in cell-mediated immunity

For further information from Horizon Discovery Group plc, please contact:

Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)

Katie Odgaard

Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947

Email: katie.odgaard@zymecommunications.com 

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 About Horizon Discovery Group plc www.horizondiscovery.com

Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) (“Horizon”) is a world leader in gene editing and gene modulation technologies. Horizon designs and engineers cells using its translational genomics platform, a highly precise and flexible suite of DNA editing tools (rAAV, ZFN, CRISPR and Transposon) and, following the acquisition of Dharmacon, Inc., its functional genomics platform comprising gene knockdown (RNAi) and gene expression (cDNA, ORF) tools, for research and clinical applications that advance human health. Horizon’s platforms and capabilities enable researchers to alter almost any gene or modulate its function in human or mammalian cell lines.

Horizon offers an extensive range of catalogue products and related research services to support a greater understanding of the function of genes across all species and the genetic drivers of human disease and the development of personalized molecular, cell and gene therapies. These have been adopted by over 10,000 academic, drug discovery, drug manufacturing and clinical diagnostics customers around the globe, as well as in the Company’s own R&D pipeline.

Horizon is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market under the ticker “HZD.”

Source: https://www.horizondiscovery.com/about-us/news/crispr-screening-service-extended-to-primary-human-t-cells


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