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

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 requires 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."