Join the fight with Horizon Discovery

Horizon is a part of this fight, providing in vitro and in vivo disease models to advance research, services to drive drug development programs, and reference standards so that assays used in development or to diagnose patients are as accurate as possible.


Almost every disease has some degree of genetic influence, however cancer genetic alterations can have a huge impact on disease onset and progression. This is complicated by the fact that cancer is not a single uniform disease, but instead is caused by the presence of multiple genetic mutations that can vary in number and composition between patients. Moreover, the genetics of cancer often vary between individual cells within the same tumor and its metastases, making diagnosis and therapeutic decisions more difficult.

As a result, genetic biomarkers are increasingly important when determining the patient populations who are likely to respond to a therapeutic during the drug discovery and development process, and to identify those patients who should receive the drug upon diagnosis. Unsurprisingly, tremendous efforts are underway to determine which mutations in which genes are important disease drivers or predictive markers of drug responsiveness or resistance.

Horizon was founded to help identify and make use of these genetic biomarkers for oncology.  We translate genomic information into practical drug discovery and diagnostic tools that accurately recreate the specific genetics of real patients that are significant in human cancer onset and progression.

Horizon’s gene editing platform confers the ability to rapidly introduce any genetic variation, including subtle, yet highly significant ‘gain-of-function’ disease mutations (common in many forms of cancer), into any endogenous gene loci of any human cell line; thus accurately modeling real patient genotypes.

These disease models take the form of cell lines, which are being used widely in basic and drug discovery research and provide them as tools, use them as the basis of a wide range of services to power drug discovery and development programs, and offer them as reference standards to help ensure that patient diagnostic testing provides accurate results.  Our gene editing platform also is used to generate in vivo models to support drug trials, particularly in the preclinical stage.



Gustin, J.P., et al. Knock in of mutant PI3CA activates multiple oncogenic pathways, PNAS 2009;106(8):2835-2840.           

Grassian et al. IDH1 Mutations Alter Citric Acid Cycle Metabolism and Increase dependence on Oxidative Mitochondrial Metabolism, Cancer Res 2014;74:3317-3331

Kapp JR, Diss T, Spicer J, et al. Variation in pre-PCR processing of FFPE samples leads to discrepancies in BRAF and EGFR mutation detection: a diagnostic RING trial, J Clin Pathol 2015;68:111–118.

Patton S. et al. Assessing standardization of molecular testing for non-small-cell lung cancer: results of a worldwide external quality assessment (EQA) scheme for EGFR mutation testing, British Journal of Cancer 2014;111, 413–420

Alexandra R. Grassian et al. (2012). Isocitrate Dehydrogenase (IDH) Mutations Promote a Reversible ZEB1/MicroRNA (miR)-200-dependent Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT), THE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY VOL. 287, NO. 50, pp. 42180–41294

Richard J. Rickles et al. (2012). Adenosine A2A and Beta-2 Adrenergic Receptor Agonists: Novel Selective and Synergistic Multiple Myeloma Targets Discovered through Systematic Combination Screening, Mol Cancer Ther; 1–11., 2012

Back to top