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Horizon Discovery Ltd. and H3 Biomedicine Inc. Collaborate to Identify and Validate Novel, Patient-Relevant Cancer Targets


4/30/2012 11:38:54 AM

CAMBRIDGE, England and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Horizon Discovery Ltd (Horizon), a leading provider of research tools to support the development of personalized medicines, and H3 Biomedicine Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery and development of oncology treatments, today announced they have entered into a collaboration agreement to identify and validate a panel of novel cancer drug targets.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120430/NY96379LOGO)

H3 Biomedicine integrates human cancer genomics with next-generation synthetic organic chemistry and tumor biology capabilities to generate a large library of novel small-molecule drugs to treat cancer. Horizon will work with H3 Biomedicine to perform target-validation experiments identifying critical cancer genome targets whose modulation will have meaningful clinical effect. H3 Biomedicine will carry out early target discovery through pre-clinical research, while Horizon will implement its three core drug discovery tools to run alongside and support H3 Biomedicine's discovery biology and chemistry assets and capabilities. The goal will be to rapidly come to definitive decisions on whether or not to progress novel targets into development. Eisai Inc., which is partnered with H3 Biomedicine, will conduct any resulting clinical trials.

Horizon's discovery tools comprise: rAAV-mediated genome editing (GENESIS) for precision functional genomics (endogenous gene knock-in and knock-outs); an expanding panel of 400+ X-MAN (Mutant And Normal) human isogenic cell lines that model specific target patient genetics and their matched normal genetic backgrounds; extensive cell-based assay development and drug profiling experience.

"The successful development of new personalized medicines depends upon well validated and characterized targets and clearly defined patient populations," commented Markus Warmuth, President and CEO, H3 Biomedicine. "High attrition rates in clinical trials have been impacting industry for a while. We believe that clinical success starts at target selection and validation. We have elected to work with Horizon because their tools will enable H3 Biomedicine to progress toward identifying the best possible targets for new drugs with the power to have meaningful therapeutic relevance. That may help us to increase clinical success rates and expedite the delivery of new therapies to the patients who need them."

Darrin M Disley, CEO, Horizon, said, "Horizon and H3 Biomedicine share a common belief that systematically validating mutant genes with clear roles in cancer evolution may help yield rapidly translatable targets and drugs with greater clinical significance. We believe Horizon's precision genome editing technology, X-MAN disease models and drug profiling assets will play an essential role in working toward achieving this goal."

Under the terms of the agreement H3 Biomedicine will have an exclusive option to acquire ownership of all program assets and intellectual property (IP) that relates to each of the target programs, with the exception of Horizon background IP. Horizon will retain commercial rights over any target program not optioned by H3 Biomedicine. Horizon will receive an initial upfront investment, with additional payments as pre-clinical and clinical milestones are reached.

Notes to Editors

About Horizon Discovery http://www.horizondiscovery.com/

Horizon Discovery Limited (Horizon) is a leading provider of research tools to support translational genomics research and the development of personalized medicines. The Company's proprietary technology, GENESIS, is the world's most precise genome editing technology. Using GENESIS, Horizon is able to alter any endogenous gene sequence of a human or mammalian cell-line quickly, reliably and without introducing unwanted and confounding genotypes and/or phenotypes.

Horizon has harnessed GENESIS to create over 400 X-MAN cell lines, the world's first source of genetically-defined and patient-relevant human cell lines, accurately modeling the disease-causing mutations found in cancer patients. These 'patients-in-a-test-tube' are being used by academic and industry leaders to identify the effect of individual genetic mutations on drug activity, patient responsiveness, and resistance, leading to the successful prediction of which patient sub-groups will respond to currently-available and future drug treatments. This enables the design of shorter, more focused, and less expensive clinical trials, ultimately providing the tools to identify the 'right drugs' for the 'right patients' based upon the unique genetic mutations that define their disease.

In addition to the X-MAN cell lines, Horizon provides GENESIS and X-MAN derived products and services, with industrial application in: bio-pharmaceutical process optimization; clinical diagnostic development; drug discovery & development; and the provision of reference standards for genomic-based clinical research platforms.

GENESIS and X-MAN are registered trademarks of Horizon Discovery Limited.

About H3 Biomedicine Inc.
H3 Biomedicine is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery and development of oncology treatments. Using modern synthetic chemistry, chemical biology and human genetics, the company seeks to bring the next generation of cancer treatments to market with the goal of improving the lives of patients. H3 Biomedicine is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Visit www.H3biomedicine.com for more information.

About Eisai Inc.
Eisai Inc. was established in 1995 and began marketing its first product in the United States in 1997. Since that time, Eisai Inc. has rapidly grown to become a fully integrated pharmaceutical business. Eisai's key areas of commercial focus are neurology and oncology. The company serves as the U.S. pharmaceutical operation of Eisai Co., Ltd., a research-based human health care (hhc) company that discovers, develops and markets products throughout the world.

Eisai has a global product creation organization that includes U.S.-based R&D facilities in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as well as manufacturing facilities in Maryland and North Carolina. The company's areas of R&D focus include neuroscience; oncology; vascular, inflammatory and immunological reaction; and antibody-based programs. For more information about Eisai, please visit www.eisai.com/US.

SOURCE H3 Biomedicine Inc.


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