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BioImagine buys Tissue Info, beefs up CRO presence

Our Regional Bureau  |  Mumbai/ Pune 

BioImagine Inc, a leading provider of image informatics solutions for life science research and pathology, announced that it has acquired Tissue Informatics Inc (TI), a biotechnology company with a strong focus on investigative toxicology.
With the acquisition BioImagine will expand its presence in the clinical research organisation (CRO) market. The price of the acquisition was, however, not revealed.
The Cupertino, California, head-quartered company with its development centre in Pune working with pre-clinical data on protein, cell and human tissue, will now expand its skill-set to cover animal tissue testing.
"We see this acquisition as a logical extension to cover a critical requirement of animal tissue testing, thus completing the entire pre-clinical testing process," said Abhi Gholap, co-founder and chief operating officer, BioImagine Inc.
The company has US and UK-based clients such as Merck, Pfizer, Novartis, Roche and other biotech and pharma
"Most of our clients are interested in setting up operations in India. They can now outsource their CRO to us here," he said, adding that CRO outsourcing to India would be a Rs 1,300-crore market by 2009.
An established player in the US, TI has clients such as Nestle, L'Oreal and Pfizer for whom the company has developed liver tissue, dermatopathology and animal tissues.
It was founded in 1997 and merged with Paradigm Genetics (now renamed Icoria Inc) in 2004 and later acquired by Clinical Data in December 2005.
Gholap said, "We expect to see 15-18 per cent improvement in our bottom line with this acquisition, besides the strengthening of our intellectual property portfolio by 20 per cent as TI has two patents, thus taking our patent tally to five."
The company had in 2004 acquired SciMagix, the then leader in science image management solutions, to strengthen its focus at the cell level.
Founded in 2001, BioImagine has received three rounds of funding totaling $10 million, with the most recent round completed last month.
Expecting to become profitable this year, Gholap said, "We have now restructured ourselves into two life sciences divisions which will cater to the pharma and biotech which require customised solutions. The second division will be diagnostics, under which we are launching a pathological image analysis and management product Pathiam, early next year. The diagnostics division will cater to the hospitals and labs."
Also on its agenda is entering new markets around the world. It recently set up a office in the UK and is actively looking at the Japanese market.
"The Japanese market is estimated to be worth $75 billion with seven major players there. We already have two customers in Japan and will set up an office there once the momentum picks up," said Gholap.

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First Published: Mon, June 26 2006. 00:00 IST