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BioImagene Buys TissueInformatics from Clinical Data; Gains Foothold in Tox, East Coast Presence


Image informatics firm BioImagene said this week that it has acquired the TissueInformatics tissue analysis software business from Icoria, a business unit of Clinical Data, for an undisclosed sum.

BioImagene, based in Cupertino, Calif., said that the acquisition will strengthen its position in the tissue analysis software market, particularly in the area of "tox-path," or toxicology and pathology, which the company has identified as a burgeoning area for its software products.

Mohan Uttarwar, CEO of BioImagene, told BioInform via e-mail that the tox-path market in the US "is estimated by analysts to be over $200 million." He added that with up to 4,000 glass slides being used in some experiments, "screening huge volumes of slides becomes a challenging task due to lack of resources available."

"Labs can load batches of slides from 50 to 300 overnight. By the next morning, slides are scanned, stored, analyzed, and results are available in well-tabulated reports that can be shared over the web."

TissueInformatics, based in Pittsburgh, has developed automated pathology software for analyzing tissue changes in drug discovery, disease assessment, toxicology, and tissue engineering.

The company was acquired by Paradigm Genetics in early 2004 for around $4 million in stock as part of Paradigm's broader effort to build out its computational systems biology capabilities [BioInform 02-09-04]

Paradigm changed its name to Icoria later that year, and was acquired by Clinical Data last year for around $12.5 million.

Icoria officials could not be reached for comment before press time.

BioImagene sells the image-management system SIMS, which it picked up in its acquisition of Scimagix in late 2004, [BioInform 11-15-04], and a suite of image-analysis tools built upon its iHarness expert system framework. The company currently sells a tissue analysis software package called TissueMine, but Uttarwar said that the TissueInformatics technology is "complementary" to BioImagene's tools.

By integrating SIMS with TissueInformatics' analysis engine, "Labs can load batches of slides from 50 to 300 overnight," Uttarwar said. "By the next morning, slides are scanned, stored, analyzed, and results are available in well-tabulated reports that can be shared over the web."

The integrated product will be released under the name Tox-mine before the end of the year, Uttarwar said.

The TissueInformatics management team will remain in Pittsburgh, and the office there will serve as BioImagene's "East coast hub," Uttarwar said. Max Fedor of TissueInformatics will become vice president of business development at BioImagene and will be responsible for customer support for the combined company on the East coast.

Uttarwar said the integration is expected to be completed in 90 days.

-- Bernadette Toner ([email protected])

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