CRISPR, reagents, cell lines: PerkinElmer buying Horizon Discovery

PerkinElmer will buy Horizon Discovery Group for $383 million to add CRISPR gene editing and RNAi tech to its offering.

As well as gene editing, the deal will also add Horizon’s reference standards, screening technologies and manufacturing cell lines to PerkinElmer’s portfolio.

Buying Horizon will enable PerkinElmer to better address market needs says Alan Fletcher, vice president and general manager of life sciences.

Image: iStock/Zhanna Hapanovich

“A combined PerkinElmer Horizon offering positions the Combined Group as a provider of complete workflows for researchers doing pharma discovery with the ability to offer both advanced reagents and automation as CRISPR screening continues to grow,” he tells this publication.

“It will also enable us to create a complete solution for scientists studying changes in gene expression by using our imaging systems alongside a full range of supporting assays and in the future move us towards precision medicine solutions.”


Fletcher also cites Horizon’s workforce – which is consists of 400 employees at sites in the US, UK and Japan – as a motivation for the deal.

“PerkinElmer places great value on Horizon’s talented employee base and believes the opportunities for Horizon staff should be enhanced by being part of a better capitalized group with greater scale and complementary capabilities.”

He adds that PerkinElmer does not intend to make any substantial changes to the locations of Horizon’s manufacturing footprint in the UK or the US.

“PerkinElmer recognizes the importance of innovation to Horizon’s business and intends to maintain investment in research and development in order to ensure that Horizon remains at the forefront of developments in cell engineering solutions.”

Fletcher also tells us PerkinElmer has no concerns about buying a UK headquartered company just months before the end of the Brexit transition period and the country’s withdrawal from the European Union.

He says: “We are viewing the combination of our companies and innovations from a long-term, scientific and global perspective and are excited about the opportunities it brings to our customers around the world regardless of individual geographic dynamics.”

News of the takeover comes a year after Horizon sold its animal models unit – including its facilities in Boyertown, Pennsylvania and St Louis, Missouri to Envigo.