Gene editing centers established in Asia to investigate oncogenes and mutations in human cell lines.
Horizon Discovery (Cambridge, UK) has recently announced the establishment of three new Centers of Excellence for gene editing in Asia. These centers, at the Aichi Cancer Center (Japan), Seoul National University (South Korea) and the National Cancer Centre (Singapore), will use GENESIS™ (Horizon’s proprietary gene-engineering technology) to generate human isogenic cell lines for researchers investigating oncogenes and mutations. The centers will join the Horizon Centers of Excellence network, which currently includes institutions such as Cambridge University (Cambridge, UK), University College London (London, UK), Yale University (CT, USA) and Washington University in St Louis (MO, USA).
Horizon have already established two Centers of Excellence in Japan, and the newest addition (the Aichi Cancer Center) will be focusing on combating virally-initiated cancers by researching the viral proliferation and oncogenesis of the Epstein–Barr virus. The new center at Seoul National University will create isogenic cell lines to facilitate the study of the mechanisms that regulate the BubR1 spindle assemble checkpoint, in order to enhance our understanding of the basis of the genetic instability of cancer. The National Cancer Center will investigate the effects of EGFR mutations on cell lines, as these mutations are implicated in numerous types of cancer.
Rob Howes, Principal Scientist at Horizon said, “We are delighted these three new institutes have joined our Centers of Excellence program… We are excited to continue expanding our rAAV genome-editing network into Asia”. He also expressed a desire to continue with this progression throughout 2013.
The new cell lines that the centers generate will be licensed to Horizon in return for future product royalties as well as the option to license any new intellectual property that is developed. This is part of Horizon’s strategy for assisting drug-discovery researchers in their understanding of the manifestation of complex genetic diseases, in order to reduce the costs of producing and providing new personalized therapies.