Animal Model FAQs

Custom Model Generation


  1. What strains of rats and mice are compatible with your custom animal models? 
    We offer Sprague-Dawley, Long-Evans Hooded, Fisher 344, and Wistar as our standard strains for rata, and we have demonstrated success with many other strains. For mice, we offer FVB, C57BL/6, and CBA CA as our standard strains. Strains other than standard may impact cost and timeline.

  2. How long does it take to create my knockout rat (or mouse)? 
    Average timeline for a targeted integration project is nine months. Average timeline for a knockout rat is six months. Our technology enables the creation of a founder animal in about four months. At the completion of the project, we deliver at least one F1 (heterozygous) breeding pair. We offer additional breeding and cryopreservation options to meet your needs.

  3. How is my custom project broken into milestones?
    Each project is completed in four separate milestones. As each milestone is achieved, a report is sent for your review containing data and results. You are invoiced only after each milestone is complete.
    • Milestone 1 – Best performing ZFN pair or sgRNA is validated in cultured cells.
    • Milestone 1A – (TI Projects Only) Donor vector design is assembled and verified.
    •     Milestone 2 – Injection and transfer of embryos into recipient females.
    •     Milestone 3 – Founders are identified through DNA sequencing.   
    •     Milestone 4 – F1 breeding pair delivered.
  1. Can I cancel my project? 
    You may cancel your project at any time; however, you are responsible for payment of completed milestones.
  1. Do you provide genotyping protocols?  
    Yes, we provide genotyping protocols with each Founder Report. We also provide genotyping support and can assist you with the assay upon request.


Support Services


  1. Do you provide genotyping services after the model is shipped?
    Yes, provide us with clearly labelled samples and we will genotype them. Inquire for fees.

  2. Do you provide cannulations? 
    We utilize Hilltop Lab Animals, Inc. as our Cannulation provider. We coordinate the shipment for you.

  3. Can you collect tissue samples and send them to me for evaluation?
    We can collect blood and tissue samples for additional fees per your request. We appreciate a minimum of one week advance notice.



  1. Are there restrictions on breeding my custom model?
    For SAGEspeed custom model generation projects, the researcher has unlimited breeding rights within their institution and their collaborators. Horizon does not maintain colonies of custom models unless requested. There is no restriction on crossbreeding your custom model to other strains.

  2. What diet is used for the animals?
    We use normal Purina maintenance diet.

  3. What caging is used for the animals?
    We use IVC (Individual Ventilated Caging).


Health Monitoring


  1. How can I ensure the animals we receive meet our institution’s health requirements?
    Horizon maintains a biosecure, specific pathogen-free facility in accordance with AAALAC standards. We provide extensive documentation and health monitoring reports on our facility and animals. We will work closely with your institution’s veterinarian to ensure smooth importation into your facility.

  2. What if my institution requires testing of pathogens not found on your health report?
    Horizon will accommodate requests for additional testing to meet your requirements.




  1. How do you ship animals?
    Horizon contracts through qualified licensed animal carriers (World Courier, MNX Global). They are the proven leaders in global shipping of live animals. Their expertise ensures your shipment arrives safely.

  2. Can you ship internationally?
    We ship globally through World Courier International. We work closely with your institution and country’s importation officials to ensure all necessary documentation and compliance is in place before scheduling your shipment.

  3. Does my order include shipping charges?
    Shipping rates are not included. Rates are estimated at the time you receive a quote.

  4. Can I ship my model to a third party breeder such as Taconic?
    Yes. You may work with your current breeding partners for colony expansion and maintenance.
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