08 November 2019

Horizon Discovery Group plc: Divestment of In Vivo Business Unit


Cambridge, UK, 8 November 2019: Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) ("Horizon" or “the Group”), a global leader in the application of gene editing and gene modulation technologies, announces an agreement to divest the Group’s In Vivo business unit (the “business unit” or “In Vivo”) to Envigo RMS LLC (“Envigo”), for a nominal consideration satisfied in cash.

In Vivo provides genetically engineered rodent models from its premises in St Louis, Missouri and Boyertown, Pennsylvania, USA. The business unit’s animal models feature specific gene deletions, insertions, repressions and modifications, and are used as pre-clinical models for human genetic disease for drug discovery. In recent years, In Vivo has also been involved in establishing CRISPR screens in xenograft mouse models.

Envigo, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana has more than 1,200 employees in more than 20 locations across North America and Europe and provides a broad range of standard animal research models to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, government, academia and other life science organisations.

In Vivo will become incorporated into Envigo with the business unit’s assets and employees expected to transfer. Both parties are committed to an ongoing collaboration to support growing opportunities with in-vivo CRISPR screening. This will enable Horizon to continue crucial aspects of its animal model screening work in conjunction with Envigo, and to generate additional business opportunities of benefit to both companies.

“In our recent results statement, we highlighted the fact that In Vivo was facing some challenging market headwinds. Whilst we have been working hard to optimise In Vivo’s performance, we recognise that we are subscale in this market and that it would be challenging for the Group to establish a market leading position in this segment. We are pleased to announce this transaction with a strong commercial partner, Envigo, which will provide an opportunity for the In Vivo business to flourish within a larger, market-leading company and also provide continuity for its many customer relationships. On an ongoing basis, Envigo will collaborate with Horizon where its customers can benefit from In Vivo research, particularly in CRISPR screening. This transaction is beneficial for all parties and fully in line with our Investing for Growth strategy.”

Terry Pizzie

Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Discovery

“Envigo has a strong strategic rationale for this acquisition. We already provide the industry’s broadest range of research models to the global biopharma, academia, government and life science organisations, so we can provide the necessary scale and commercial infrastructure to more broadly market In Vivo’s genetically engineered rodent models and associated services. The genetic-modification technologies expertise of the acquired business is an important addition to our portfolio to enable us to further broaden the range of products and services available to Envigo customers. We are delighted to welcome the In Vivo team to the Envigo family and look forward to a strong collaboration with Horizon in future activities.”

Dr Adrian Hardy

President and CEO of Envigo

The financial impact of the divestment of In Vivo.

For the year ended 31 December 2018, In Vivo had sales of approximately £4.6m and incurred an EBITDA loss of approximately £1.3m. As of 30 September 2019, the estimated net book value of the assets attributable to In Vivo in respect of the transaction is approximately £1.4m.  The transaction is expected to be completed within 30-45 days and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Investing for Growth Strategy

The Investing for Growth strategy supports Horizon’s goal to become the ‘go-to’ provider of IP-rich cell engineering solutions and to establish leadership positions in the Group’s key markets, based on a highly scalable and repeatable business model.

Horizon has evolved from a science-led life sciences company to a fully commercial tools and services Group with industrialized processes and commercially directed R&D. The Investing for Growth strategy prioritizes the highest value, highest growth areas of the Group’s core markets, in particular cell line engineering and reagents, CRISPR screening and libraries, diagnostic reference standards, and the provision of engineered CHO cell lines for biotherapeutic manufacture.


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

Horizon Discovery Group plc
Terry Pizzie, Chief Executive Officer
Jayesh Pankhania, Chief Financial Officer
Jon Davies, Head of Investor Relations
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 655 580

Numis Securities Limited (Broker and NOMAD)
Freddie Barnfield / Tom Ballard / Duncan Monteith
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 5700
Email: horizon@consilium-comms.com

Zyme Communications (Trade and Regional Media)
Katie Odgaard
Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947
Email: katie.odgaard@zymecommunications.com 

Westwicke, an ICR Company (US Investor Relations)
Stephanie Carrington
Tel. +1 646-277-1282
Email: horizondisovery@icrinc.com

About Horizon Discovery Group plc


Horizon Discovery Group plc (LSE: HZD) ("Horizon") drives the application of gene editing and gene modulation within the global life science market – supporting scientists on the path from research to therapy.

Built upon more than a decade of experience in the engineering of cell lines, Horizon offers an unmatched portfolio of tools and services to help scientists gain a greater understanding of gene function, identify genetic drivers behind human disease, deliver biotherapeutics, cellular and gene therapies for precision medicine as well as develop and validate diagnostic workflows.

Horizon’s solutions enable almost any gene to be altered, or its function modulated, in human and other mammalian cell lines.

The Group’s customers include many of the world’s foremost academic institutes, global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as clinical diagnostic laboratories. Insight into the challenges faced by these organizations enables Horizon to focus efforts on development of innovative solutions that not only differentiate the Group’s offering, but also fuel development of the next wave of precision medicines.

Horizon is headquartered in Cambridge, UK with offices in USA and Japan.  The Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange's AIM market under the ticker HZD.

About Envigo


Envigo provides the broadest range of standard research models to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, government, academia and other life science organizations. The company has over 1,200 devoted employees in more than 20 locations across North America and Europe

As the largest organisation that is solely dedicated to providing research models and related products and services, we are committed to helping researchers realise the full potential of their critical R&D projects as we fulfil our mission to work together to build a healthier and safer world.

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