Bioimagene marches down tox-path

BioImagene recently closed its acquisition of Pittsburgh-based tissue image analysis company TissueInformatics from Icoria, a business unit of Clinical Data Inc.

Jeffrey Bouley
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CUPERTINO, Calif.—BioImagene recently closed its acquisition of Pittsburgh-based tissue image analysis company TissueInformatics from Icoria, a business unit of Clinical Data Inc. With this acquisition, BioImagene says it is now "the tech­nological leader in tissue analysis" and adds that bringing TissueInformatics onboard substantially enriches its product portfolio from research to toxicology and pathology (tox-path).
TissueInformatics specializes in the develop­ment and application of automated pathology software for the quantitative analysis of tissue changes in drug discovery, disease assessment, toxicol­ogy and tissue engineering research. Drug discovery efforts can now be more cost-effective and efficient with the combination of TissueInformatics' technol­ogy and BioImagene's prod­ucts that allow researchers to effectively manage and analyze large numbers of large-sized images and their associated metadata, according to Mohan Uttarwar, CEO of BioImagene
"Discovering and bringing a new drug into the market costs approximately $1.6 billion to $2 billion and can take over 10 years," he notes. "Too many compounds in clinical devel­opment fail due to problems of absorption, distribution, metabo­lism, elimination and toxicity of the drug in the body. A lot of effort is therefore placed in eliminating these compounds before they enter the costly clinical trials process."
Companies need new ways of tackling high attrition rates in drug development so they can launch new drugs and maintain their rev­enue stream, Uttarwar says.
"In the post-genomic era, the focus of pharmaceutical compa­nies has shifted from lead gen­eration to drug validation," he explains. "Automated image anal­ysis solutions from BioImagene, with TissueInformatics expertise in tissue image analysis, are key. The combined company solutions are targeted to reduce the drug dis­covery cycle time and also to test the validity of the drug at tissue level from the efficacy and toxicity perspective."
BioImagene reports that this acquisition is a major step in its overall growth strategy, bringing a broad pipeline of intellectual prop­erty-protected product opportu­nities and innovations in the tox-path area. In addition, the acquisi­tion gives BioImagene a stronger East Coast presence and helps the company to fulfill unmet needs in the tox-path market by combining tissue-image analysis with data and image management.
"This acquisition meets our key business objective of accelerating our efforts in the tox-path market by offering a comprehensive solu­tion," Uttarwar says. "We welcome TissueInformatics' expertise in automated tox-path solutions and deep scientific understanding of tissue morphology."
The present TissueInformatics management team will spearhead BioImagene's presence on the East coast and will maintain its pres­ence in Pittsburgh. Max Fedor of TissueInformatics will join the BioImagene team as the vice presi­dent of business development.

Jeffrey Bouley

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