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Lion Takes Stake in E-Health Co. in Effort to Expand into Research, Diagnostics

NEW YORK, Feb 21 – Lion Bioscience said Wednesday it acquired a 16.1 percent stake in a German developer of e-health data management software in its latest move to expand its reach into medical research and diagnostics.

Lion paid 8.75 million euros ($7.99 million) for the stake in Gesellschaft f r Medizinische Datenverarbeitung and received an option to acquire an additional nine percent of the company’s equity. Lion has the option until June 30, 2002.

Lion said it would base its decision about whether to exercise the option on the outcome of a joint pilot project in which the two companies will develop software platforms for discovering the causes of diseases and explore opportunities for developing individualized diagnostics and therapies.

GMD of Munich develops medical information management technology that is used in French, German, and American hospitals. The company’s e-health.solutions technology allows hospital staff to gather and manage medical records.

“In addition to the management of hospital data we will expand our solutions into the areas of clinical trials and integration of practicing doctors into this network,” Lutz Kleinholz, managing director of GMD, said in a statement. “With our e-health.solutions platform as the basis we will then be able to transform our results directly from research into medicine.”

Over the past few months, Lion has taken several steps to increase its business beyond bioinformatics into drug discovery. In December, the Heidelberg, Germany-based company acquired Trega Biosciences, a cheminformatics firm that has developed tools to simulate how drug candidates are processed in humans.

In October, Lion also penned a deal with cheminformatics company Tripos to provide Bayer with an integrated bioinformatics and cheminformatics technology platform for drug discovery and agricultural chemical research. 

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