Microsoft In Acquisition Deal With Merck

Software maker has reached agreement to acquire Rosetta Biosoftware unit.

Paul McDougall, Editor At Large, InformationWeek

June 1, 2009

2 Min Read

Microsoft said Monday that it has reached an agreement to acquire Merck & Co.'s Rosetta Biosoftware unit for an undisclosed sum. Rosetta is part of Rosetta Inpharmatics LLC, a wholly owned Merck subsidiary.

Rosetta develops information systems that allow researchers to analyze genomes, conduct clinical studies, and perform other genomics-related activities. The deal is expected to close at the end of June.

Microsoft said it would add Rosetta's assets to its Amalga Life Sciences platform, which helps researchers and other health industry professionals manage and organize clinical data. The agreement calls for Merck to become an Amalga Life Sciences user.

"We're excited to collaborate with Merck and augment the capabilities of Amalga Life Sciences with the complementary assets of Rosetta Biosoftware," said Peter Neupart, corporate VP for Microsoft's Health Solutions Group, in a statement.

"The newly combined offering will enable customers to improve the management and analysis of genomic, biological, and research data, helping to bring lifesaving drugs and therapies to market faster and accelerate the realization of personalized medicine," said Neupart. Merck officials said they plan to work closely with the software maker.

"This agreement establishes a stable and sustainable platform for the Rosetta Biosoftware technology," said Rupert Vessey, VP for Merck Research Laboratories. "In addition, we look forward to collaborating with Microsoft to develop new bioinformatic solutions to enable and expedite drug discovery," said Vessey.

Microsoft is pushing further into healthcare-related IT. The company introduced Amalga Life Sciences earlier this year with an eye to helping researchers deal with clinical data more effectively. The company said it plans to introduce a version of Amalga that incorporates technologies from Rosetta Biosoftware by early 2010.

Microsoft shares were up 2.39%, to $21.39, in late afternoon trading Monday.

About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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