The UK’s Horizon Discovery is acquiring Sage Labs of the USA in a deal which it says will create “the world’s leading gene-editing and translational genomics company”.

The Cambridge-headquarted group is paying up to $48 million ($16 million in cash and $32 million in new shares) for Sage, described as “a world leader in the generation of advanced in vivo transgenic disease models for use in preclinical research”. It builds upon the $8 million acquisition of CombinatoRx in July and Horizon says it is now the “go-to company for the provision of integrated product, service and research solutions at all stages of translational genomics and personalised medicine research from sequence to treatment”.

Sage belonged to Sigma-Aldrich before a buy-out in 2013 and has 50 employees, a direct US and European sales force and 43,000 square feet state-of-the-art facilities. This will enable the scale-up of Horizon’s product and service offerings “through access to new capabilities, capacity and access to new markets”.

David Smoller, Sage chief executive who will now become Horizon’s chief business officer, said the new firm “is now the destination for researchers and scientists worldwide to find both in vivo and in vitro solutions to their biological questions”.