20th February 2018

Horizon Discovery Announces Leadership Changes 


Cambridge, UK, 20 February 2018: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) (“Horizon”, “the Company”, or “the Group”), a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation technologies, today announces that Dr. Darrin M. Disley has decided to step down as Chief Executive Officer in order to pursue other business interests. As a consequence, the Chairman of the Board, Dr. Ian Gilham, will assume the role of Executive Chairman and Richard Vellacott, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CEO, will become Chief Executive Officer, both in an interim capacity.  A search for a CEO successor will begin immediately. 


“I would like to express my sincere appreciation for Darrin’s achievements as CEO since he joined in 2007 when Horizon was a start-up company through to now being a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation. During his tenure, he has built a world-class management team, set a highly successful commercial and business strategy, led the Company through several financing rounds, including the Company’s successful IPO in 2014, and driven multiple acquisitions including the Company’s recent transformational deal with Dharmacon. We support Darrin’s decision to step down at this time. We look forward, in due course, to announcing the appointment of a new CEO who will lead the Company through the next phase of its growth and development.”

Dr. Ian Gilham

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Horizon Discovery

“I am proud to have led the team through this successful period and feel now is the right time, after 11 years as Chief Executive Officer, to hand over the reins to pursue my other business interests. I know the Group and the current leadership team is the strongest it has ever been. I wish everyone well and look forward to watching Horizon’s future successes.”

Dr. Darrin M Disley

“Horizon has never been in a stronger position operationally and I would like to thank Darrin for everything he has contributed to Horizon over the past many years – he has been truly inspirational in the evolution of our strategy and the rapid growth of the business, which is now a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation. I look forward to working closely with our focused and strong leadership team.”

Richard Vellacott

Interim Chief Executive Officer, Horizon Discovery

Due to the leadership changes, the Group’s Capital Markets Day scheduled for 20 February 2018 will now take place on 5 March 2018.





For further information from Horizon Discovery Group plc, please contact:


Horizon Discovery Group plc

Ian Gilham, Chairman

Richard Vellacott, Interim Chief Executive Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 655 580


Numis Securities Limited (Broker and NOMAD)

Michael Meade / Freddie Barnfield

Tel: +44 (0) 207 260 1000


Consilium Strategic Communications (Financial Media and Investor Relations)

Mary-Jane Elliott / Matthew Neal / Melissa Gardiner

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3709 5701

Email: horizon@consilium-comms.com


Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)

Katie Odgaard

Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947

Email: katie.odgaard@zymecommunications.com


About Horizon Discovery Group plc www.horizondiscovery.com

Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) ("Horizon") is a world leader in gene editing and gene modulation technologies. Horizon designs and engineer’s cells using its translational genomics platform, a highly precise and flexible suite of DNA editing tools (rAAV, ZFN, CRISPR and Transposon) and, following the acquisition of Dharmacon, Inc., its functional genomics platform comprising gene knockdown (RNAi) and gene expression (cDNA, ORF) tools, for research and clinical applications that advance human health. Horizon’s platforms and capabilities enable researchers to alter almost any gene or modulate its function in human or mammalian cell-lines.

Horizon offers an extensive range of catalogue products and related research services to support a greater understanding of the function of genes across all species and the genetic drivers of human disease and the development of personalised molecular, cell and gene therapies. These have been adopted by over 10,000 academic, drug discovery, drug manufacturing and clinical diagnostics customers around the globe, as well as in the Company’s own R&D pipeline.

Horizon is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, and is listed on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market under the ticker “HZD”.

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