Horizon Discovery acquires Sage Labs

Transaction strengthens Horizon’s intellectual property with regard to CRISPR technology

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CAMBRIDGE, U.K. & ST. LOUIS—There are a number of reasons for Horizon Discovery Group plc to want to acquire Sage Labs Inc. For one thing, it would enhance Horizon’s U.S. footprint and strengthens both its U.S. and European Union (EU) sales force. It would strengthen Horizon’s intellectual property (IP) with regard to CRISPR technology as it gains exclusive rights for in-vivo zinc finger nuclease (ZFN) applications. It would allow the creation of a more fully integrated translational genomics platform and reportedly make Horizon the world’s leading gene-editing and translational genomics company.
And all this for the price of $48 million, according to Horizon’s late-September announcement of a deal to acquire Sage. This deal “builds upon the acquisition of CombinatoRx in July and makes Horizon the world’s leading gene-editing company and the go-to company for the provision of integrated product, service and research solutions at all stages of translational genomics and personalized medicine research from sequence to treatment,” according to Horizon.
“The acquisition positions Horizon as the world leader in gene editing and at the forefront of technological advances in the field of translational genomics. The consolidated offering significantly strengthens Horizon commercially, allowing us to offer product, service and R&D programs to customers engaged at every stage of translational genomics and personalized medicine research from sequence to treatment,” said Dr. Darrin M. Disley, CEO of Horizon.
Horizon will gain exclusive access to ZFN for in-vivo model generation and certain exclusive and non-exclusive CRISPR in-vivo-related IP to add to its extensive in-vitro IP in CRISPR, ZFN and rAAV, the latter of which is a worldwide exclusive to Horizon.
According to Horizon, it will focus on expanding Sage’s predominantly U.S. customer base by increasing its presence in Europe, Japan and beyond via access to Horizon’s business development and commercial infrastructure and an almost 1,000-strong customer base.
The acquired business will continue to be known as Sage Labs Inc., and it will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Horizon Discovery Group.
The acquisition was expected to be complete by Oct. 2, though there was, as of press time for this issue of DDNews, no confirmation on either company’s website that the deal had been finalized officially—however, Sage Labs was posting news dated Oct. 23 from Horizon on its website, which said that Horizon had “announced the launch of its patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of breast cancer under its Sage Labs brand. The new panel is the largest available collection of highly characterized PDX models, and is licensed from Washington University.”

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