ATUM And Horizon Discovery Announce Collaboration And Technology Cross-License To Simplify And Speed Bioproduction Cell Line Development

  • Horizon’s CHO SOURCE Platform now incorporates exclusive ATUM vectors as standard
  • ATUM has licensed Horizon’s CHO SOURCE platform to offer cell line development services with its Leap-In Transposase Technology

NEWARK, Calif. & CAMBRIDGE, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ATUM (formerly DNA2.0, Inc.) and Horizon Discovery (LSE: HZD) (“Horizon”), the world leader in the application of gene editing technologies, today announced they have signed a cross-license agreement for Horizon’s CHO SOURCE platform and ATUM’s vector technology to speed development of highly productive stable cell lines for drug development.

ATUM has licensed Horizon’s CHO SOURCE platform, including the Glutamine Synthetase (GS) Knock-Out CHO K1 (Chinese hamster ovary) line, and will use its proprietary Leap-In® Transposase Technology to offer cell line development services. Horizon has exclusively licensed a vector suite developed by ATUM for the CHO SOURCE platform, to provide a complete cell line solution to its customers. Together, these technologies enable expression of complex biologics for customers of both ATUM and Horizon. ATUM is also offering Horizon customers a no-fee evaluation license for the transposase system.

The CHO SOURCE platform increases stringency of selection as compared with historical platforms based around chemical inhibition such as Methionine Sulphoximine (MSX) and Methotrexate (MTX). The result is more rapid identification of clones expressing a biotherapeutic product at industry-relevant levels. CHO SOURCE is a commercially disruptive platform based on a one-time fee for access for full commercial use.

The Horizon GS knockout cell line has been developed specifically to address the growing needs of biotech companies and CMOs in biological manufacturing. As part of the CHO SOURCE Platform, this fully traceable and GMP banked line is specifically designed for customers who want to rapidly implement an improved solution but without sacrificing time or putting quality at risk.

ATUM’s vector suite has been developed as part of a partnership with Horizon. These novel vectors are comprised of a mammalian expression technology that has been combined with additional elements that improve aspects of the protein production pathway. They have been designed for ease of use, with dual or single promoter options available as part of the CHO SOURCE platform. In tandem with a powerful selection system, these vectors will drive the generation of high yield stable cell lines.

Since receiving the first patent for Leap-In, ATUM’s transposon and tranposase-based tool, in September 2016, the technology has been licensed by several companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries where it has demonstrated the generation of multi gram/L stable pools. The technology can be accessed through ATUM’s cell line development service, which now combines Leap-In with the CHO SOURCE platform, or by evaluating the LeapIn transposase together with the CHO SOURCE platform for internal development followed by licensing the two technologies separately.

"Horizon’s GS line and ATUM’s vectors and transposase technology are a very powerful combination for production of stable cell lines in industry-leading timelines,” said Jeremy Minshull, co-founder and CEO of ATUM. “This technology is suited not just for regular antibodies, but for the next wave of biologics including two, three and four-chain bispecifics, and require only small numbers of clones to be screened to reach commercial titers. This allows us to look in more depth at other properties of the molecule, which is essential with these more complex biologics."

Dr. Darrin M Disley, CEO of Horizon Discovery Group plc, commented: “Horizon’s CHO SOURCE platform continues to challenge commercial and technical expectations in the industry. Horizon’s GS Knockout cell line has undergone extensive validation to demonstrate its suitability for biomanufacturing, and by including ATUM’s powerful expression vector we are now able to offer customers an improved solution.”


About ATUM

ATUM, formerly DNA2.0, offers an integrated pipeline of tools including gene design, optimization and synthesis, expression vectors, and platforms for protein and strain engineering and production. ATUM exploits the dependence of biological activity on well-designed sequences. ATUM’s tools and solutions are fueling the transformation of biology from a discovery science to an engineering discipline. By collaborating with our clients, ATUM accelerates breakthroughs and moves research further faster. The company is privately held and is headquartered in Newark, California. For more information, please visit

About Horizon Discovery Group plc

Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) ("Horizon"), is a world-leading gene editing company that designs and engineers genetically-modified cells and then applies them in research and clinical applications that advance human health.

Horizon’s core capabilities are built around its proprietary translational genomics platform, a highly precise and flexible suite of gene editing tools (rAAV, ZFN, CRISPR and Transposon) able to alter almost any gene sequence in human or mammalian cell-lines.

Horizon offers over 23,000 catalogue products and related research services, almost all of which are based on the generation and application of cell and animal models that accurately recapitulate the disease-causing genetic anomalies found in diseases like cancer. Horizon’s commercial offering has been adopted by over 1,600 unique research organizations in over 50 countries as well as in the Company’s own R&D pipeline to support a greater understanding of the genetic drivers of disease and the development of molecular, cell and gene therapies that can be prescribed on a personalized basis.

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

For Horizon Discovery Group plc:
Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)
Katie Odgaard
Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947
Lisa Lilienthal, 404-661-3679

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