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UPDATE: InforMax, TissueInformatics Pen Toxicology Partnership; TissueInformatics Closes Financing

NEW YORK, Jan. 24 - InforMax and TissueInformatics said on Thursday that they planned a wide-ranging toxicology collaboration that will integrate genomic information with quantitative tissue data.


The system is designed to illuminate the molecular processes of toxicology in tissues exposed to pharmaceutical compounds in preclinical research work, the companies said.


The agreement, slated to last three years, will pair gene-expression and protein-function data with histolomorphometric information from digitized tissue images. The two companies will collaborate to develop software tools that will integrate and analyze these two categories of data, they said.


InforMax and TissueInformatics will then jointly offer investigative toxicology services and market software through this partnership. TissueInformatics will have a license to InforMax's GenoMax bioinformatics system and its desktop software, while InforMax will have access to TissueInformatics' analysis tools.


InforMax also invested $1.5 million in TissueInformatics' preferred stock financing, which closed on Jan. 22. The investment gives InforMax a 5-percent interest in the company. InforMax also has observation rights on the company's board, and will play a role in its scientific advisory board.


TissueInformatics' applications link tissue images with quantified information and analysis of tissue structure and function. Its DermFX skin biology system, for example, includes data like cell numbers and distribution, matrix density and tissue layer shape, and thickness and integrity.


Other investors in TissueInformatics' recent round of equity financing include TVM Techno Venture Management, Pittsburgh-based Birchmere ventures, The Future Fund as well as individual investors.The round raised a total of $12.5 million, which the company plans to spend on developing its tissue analysis technology and commercializing tools now in development for drug target discovery and toxicity screening.

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