Horizon taps Amplycell for cell line optimization tech

CHO cells (By User:Alcibiades - Self-made during work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=591443)

Horizon Discovery has struck a deal to evaluate cell line optimization technology developed by Amplycell. The agreement sees Horizon pay an undisclosed upfront fee to evaluate the effect of the Amplycell technology on its glutamine synthetase (GS) null CHO K1 cell line.

Amplycell, a Belgian cell fitness specialist, has built its business on a four-step process designed to create more stable and productive cells for use in the production of monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins. By applying the approach to hard-to-express drug candidates, Amplycell claims to have increased the output of CHO cells from milligrams per liter to grams per liter. That has attracted the attention of Horizon.

Initially, Horizon will assess how the parameter adaptations and other aspects of Amplycell’s process affects the expression capability of its GS null CHO K1 cell line. If the outcome is positive, Horizon anticipates expanding the deal to give it the right to sublicense its newly-tweaked CHO K1 cell lines to third parties.

“We are hopeful that a successful evaluation of AmplyCell’s BOOST technology will lead to incorporation of this methodology for all future bioprocessing cell lines released by Horizon, and look forward to creating a long term relationship with AmplyCell,” Terry Pizzie, head of commercial at Horizon, said in a statement.

Amplycell is receiving an upfront fee for providing its technology for evaluation. And will receive milestones and royalties on sales of sublicensed lines if the partnership advances following the initial assessment.

Horizon is looking to the collaboration to build upon progress made by its cell lines to date. The Cambridge, U.K.-based life science player created its CHO cell lines using its gene editing platform, and made the resulting cells available for a one-time licensing fee. Since then, Horizon has continued to try to improve its cell lines, leading to it looking to Amplycell for support.