The future is bright for the department’s biotech alumnus and enterprise mentor Darrin Disley and his colleagues at Horizon Discovery Group plc following the company’s March 2014 listing on AIM with a market capitalisation of £120.5 million. The placing, conducted by Panmure Gordon, has raised £68.6 million from institutional investors comprising £40 million for the Company before expenses and the sale of £28.6 million of Sale Shares, at a price of 180p per share. Shares in Horizon are expected to start trading on Thursday 27th March, under the ticker symbol “HZD”.
Horizon’s business, centred around the proprietary GENESISTM gene editing and X MANTM cell line platforms, enables the understanding of the genetic basis of disease, the manipulation of genomes and the creation of genetically-defined human cell lines or “patients in a test tube”. This technology is becoming widely used in genomics research and the development of personalised medicines targeted to specific genetic drivers of diseases like cancer. The company included blue chip firms AstraZeneca, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Genentech, Jannsen Pharmaceuticals, Merck & Co., Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research and Takeda, amongst its 353 unique customers in 2013.
The cash raised will be used to enhance marketing of Horizon’s products and leveraged R&D programmes in their target markets, to expand sales and distribution channels, for product development and in-licensing of new product ranges from third parties, as well as to increase the pipeline of R&D opportunities delivering downstream milestone and product royalties.
Darrin plans to continue to mentor postgraduates on the Bioscience Enterprise programme and to support Cambridge University Entrepreneurs, inspiring students with enterprising ambitions from across the University to create their own companies.