Located in Cambridge, one of the world’s foremost biotech centres, Horizon Discovery provides research tools to organisations engaged in genomics research and developing personalised medicines. In 2010, the company approached FedEx HealthCare Solutions to find efficient, safe and reliable solutions to its transport needs.

Ranked as one of the fastest growing biotechnology companies in Europe, Horizon Discovery has first-hand knowledge of the challenges involved in maintaining seamless global communications during a period of rapid expansion. Having successfully grown to a team of 250 expert staff, spread across state-of-the-art facilities in the UK and US, the company’s customer base is now approaching 1,400 organisations.

A growing business

Founded in the UK in 2007, Horizon Discovery is built upon a world-leading gene-editing platform. Its technology is widely used in genomics research, and is increasingly important in the development of personalised medicines targeting specific genetic drivers of diseases such as cancer.

Horizon Discovery continues to grow, expanding its existing catalogue of products from 2,750 in 2015 to over 23,000 cell lines, reference standard and in-vivo model catalogue products. This portfolio spans almost the entire genome and addresses an ever-expanding range of diseases, research and clinical areas.

Shipping challenges

A significant shipping challenge for Horizon Discovery is that many products need to be transported on dry ice or in temperature-controlled environments and handled delicately to ensure the stability of the product. The company ships all over the world – predominantly to the US, as well as India and China – while continuing to expand into countries across Europe and the Far East. As markets continue to grow overseas, Horizon Discovery continually looks for ways to deliver temperature-sensitive products to clients on time and intact, while also ensuring that service is not hampered by stringent customs rules and regulations.

FedEx Express

Horizon Discovery approached FedEx HealthCare Solutions in 2010 because of their shared values of quality and integrity. Logistical support from FedEx HealthCare Solutions has continued as Horizon Discovery experienced global growth. With its expertise, FedEx HealthCare Solutions assists Horizon Discovery in navigating customs rules and regulations around the world. This is particularly valuable as Horizon Discovery looks to expand into new markets.

Before working with FedEx HealthCare Solutions, a major challenge that Horizon Discovery faced delivering products to customers without any delay. By using FedEx’s international priority alert service, Horizon Discovery ensures that its products are with customers within two days of payment. In addition, FedEx’s cold-shipping packaging helps to keep sensitive items at the optimum temperature during transit.

Jade Kerri-Dibb, facilities and operations manager at Horizon Discovery, says: "Horizon Discovery has grown rapidly since launch, and the alliance we have with FedEx has allowed us to meet our customers’ expectations, contributing to our success.

"As an industry, life sciences faces significant specialist logistical challenges, and having the experience of FedEx alongside us to guide and support our business – through everything from shipment integrity to customs rules and regulations – has played an integral part in the expansion of our global business."