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UPDATE - Horizon Discovery Group signs OEM deal with Transgenomic

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Horizon Discovery Group (LON:HZD) is to provide human genomic reference standards to assure quality and performance of NASDAQ-listed Transgenomic’s Multiplexed ICE COLD-PCR kits.

The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement between the AIM-listed life science company and the global biotechnology company follows a collaborative project initiated last year between Horizon’s Diagnostics division and Transgenomic, which explored the utility of Horizon’s advanced reference standards in Transgenomic’s in vitro DNA mutation enrichment kits. The standards are being used in both quality control and mutation concentration assays.

Transgenomic’s MX-ICP technology offers major advantages for users of current sequencing technologies by delivering a sensitivity improvement of at least 100-fold in comparison to standard methodologies and enriching both known and previously unknown genetic alterations using a single multiplexed assay, Horizon’s stock exchange announcement said.

The ultra-high sensitivity of MX-ICP makes it feasible to conduct comprehensive genomic analyses using either tissue biopsies or liquid samples such as blood or urine.

Dr. Paul Morrill, president of Products at Horizon Discovery Group, said: “To see our relationship with Transgenomic expand into a full OEM relationship after our initial collaboration project is a strong endorsement of Horizon’s expertise in this field.

“We are dedicated to ensuring that cutting edge molecular diagnostic assays, such as those developed by Transgenomic, can demonstrate their true clinical significance and performance,” he added.

“This important relationship is part of our forward strategy to drive sustainable core revenue growth as well as take a scientific leadership role in the field of personalized medicine,” Dr Morrill concluded.

Paul Kinnon, Transgenomic’s president and chief executive officer, said: “Incorporating Horizon’s industry-leading controls into our MX-ICP kits supports our global commercialisation campaign by providing customers and partners additional assurance of the exceptional performance of MX-ICP technology.

“Horizon’s highly characterized and quantitative genomic DNA-based reference standards support the high performance of our MX-ICP technology. We expect that they will be especially valuable in clinical applications.”

Panmure Gordon stuck with its earnings forecasts and repeated its ‘buy’ recommendation after the announcement.

“This further underpins our view with respect to Horizon's strategy in diagnostics, emphasising its role as an enabling partner as the healthcare industry continues to place ever-greater emphasis on personalised and precision medicine,” said analyst Dr Mike Mitchell. 

Shares in Horizon Discovery were off 5p at 200p in late afternoon trading.

Quick facts: Horizon Discovery Group PLC

Price: 156 GBX

AIM:HZD
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £234.68 m
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