After 11 years at the helm of Horizon Discovery chief executive Dr Darrin Disley left the company to pursue other business interests.

The Cambridge-based business develops gene editing and gene modulation technology.

Current chairman Dr Ian Gilham will step up to become executive chairman while chief financial officer and deputy chief executive Richard Vellacott will become interim chief executive.

The company released a statement confirming that the search for a new CEO will begin immediately.

Since joining Horizon Disley has taken the company through an AIM listing and acquisitions including last year's £85million purchase of rival Dharmacon from General Electric.

"I would like to express my sincere appreciation for Darrin's achievements as CEO since he joined in 2007 when Horizon was a start-up company through to now being a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation,” said Gilham.

"During his tenure, he has built a world-class management team, set a highly successful commercial and business strategy, led the company through several financing rounds, including the company's successful IPO in 2014, and driven multiple acquisitions including the company's recent transformational deal with Dharmacon."

Interim chief executive officer Richard Vellacott said: "Horizon has never been in a stronger position operationally and I would like to thank Darrin for everything he has contributed to Horizon over the past many years - he has been truly inspirational in the evolution of our strategy and the rapid growth of the business, which is now a global leader in gene editing and gene modulation.

“I look forward to working closely with our focused and strong leadership team."

Followig the leadership changes, the Group's Capital Markets Day scheduled for 20 February 2018 will now take place on 5 March 2018.