Sigma Inks ZFN Deal with Horizon


Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (SIAL) announced that its innovative biological products and services business – Sigma Life Science – has inked a non-exclusive license agreement with Horizon Discovery Limited for use of Sigma's CompoZr Zinc Finger Nuclease (:ZFN) technology. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Horizon is a leading provider of research tools to support translational genomics research and the development of personalized medicines. Per the deal, Horizon will receive ZFNs manufactured by Sigma for use in commercial development of cell based products and to provide commercial gene editing services. With the deal, Horizon gets the commercial freedom to apply the technology side by side with its proprietary rAAV technology in its gene-editing service and cell line product business units.  

Horizon will immediately start using ZFN technology as part of its unique custom cell line generation service, where both ZFN and rAAV technologies will be applied, either independently or in combination, to deliver the full spectrum of genomic modifications in an efficient manner.

With both rAAV and ZFN technology, the scientists at Horizon will be able to help the customers and provide them with best answers to their biological questions, or else provide them with solutions that will suit their timescale and budget. The research community will be benefited by these gene editing technologies. The offering will be rolled out under Horizon’s precision gene-editing brand GENESIS.

Sigma-Aldrich, a leading life science and high technology company, released its second quarter 2013 results in July. The company posted adjusted earnings of $1.05 per share, above the year-ago earnings of 97 cents. The results beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.03. The adjusted earnings exclude other charges of 7 cents a share.

Profit as reported, rose roughly 3.5% year over year to $119 million (or 98 cents per share) in the quarter from $115 million (or 94 cents per share) a year ago.

Net sales increased 3% year over year to $681 million in the reported quarter, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $679 million. Organic sales growth in the quarter was 4%, while foreign exchange translation had a negative impact of 1%.

Sigma-Aldrich currently maintains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Other companies in the specialty chemical space with favorable Zacks Rank are Ferro Corp. (FOE), Minerals Technologies Inc. (MTX) and Sensient Technologies Corp. (SXT). While Ferro carries a Zacks rank #1 (Strong Buy), Minerals Technologies and Sensient Technologies retain a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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