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Microsoft Acquires Rosetta Biosoftware – Merck Becomes Microsoft Life Sciences Client

Posted Jun 01 2009 10:43pm

This is interesting as last Friday I discussed different uses of the Cloud by Pharma and Merck has a computer center in Seattle, Rosetta, which it image acquired in 2001, with about 10,000 processors and an elaborate Internet-based architecture allowing researchers working on thousands of projects anywhere at Merck to access data from storage.

From last week:

“In the coming months, Merck will be handing the Rosetta computer cluster, and a majority of the data therein, to a nonprofit bioinformatics database called Sage Bionetwork being formed by Schadt and Stephen Friend, senior vice president and oncology franchise head at Merck Research Laboratories. The drug firm, which will have open access to Sage, will consolidate research computing at its new Center of Excellence for Molecular Profiling & Research Informatics, in Boston. Meanwhile, Sage will pursue partnerships with other public and private research centers in order to expand the database. Sage, as it develops, may well incorporate cloud computing, according to Schadt.”

Merck is also making it’s presence in the Biosimilar business and this could also stand to enhance this effort as well with creating biosimilar or follow me drugs at a smaller fraction of the cost of what we see on the market today. 

Merck Purchases Insmed – Biosimilar Biotech Drug Company

Last week I published a recent interview with Michael Naimoli, Industry Solutions Director for Microsoft’s U.S. Health & Life Sciences Group and with the information he discussed, it helped to describe some of the unique problems and issues addressed by Life Sciences.  In looking at the Rosetta group here it appears Life Sciences will be playing in the “sandbox” as mentioned in the interview as the data is currently stored with Oracle data sets, so bio mashups are on the way, one more example of working together as teams for generating results. image

A Deep Dive into Microsoft Life Sciences Today and in the Future – Interview with Michael Naimoli

One of the Rosetta Products, Revolver has been licensed and used by the FDA since 2005 which is a high-capacity data storage, retrieval, and analysis solution for gene expression data, and we are producing data today in tera bytes by the masses too so the power an speed required to filter, sort and analyze is growing by the minute.  BD

Press Release:

Multifaceted agreement enhances Microsoft Amalga Life Sciences to accelerate basic research and drive personalized medicine.

REDMOND, Wash. — June 1, 2009 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has signed an agreement with Merck & Co. Inc. to acquire certain assets of Rosetta Biosoftware, a business unit of Rosetta Inpharmatics LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck & Co. Inc. The deal allows Microsoft to incorporate genetic, genomic, metabolomic and proteomics data management software into the Microsoft Amalga Life Sciences platform for enhanced translational research capabilities. In addition, Microsoft will establish a strategic relationship with Merck to enhance the Amalga Life Sciences platform to meet emerging pharmaceutical research needs.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will become a customer of the Microsoft Amalga Life Sciences 2009 platform and also will provide image strategic input to Microsoft on the direction and evolution of new solutions incorporating Rosetta Biosoftware technologies. The software platform will help drive improvements in Merck’s already advanced research capabilities.

“This agreement establishes a stable and sustainable platform for the Rosetta Biosoftware technology. In addition, we look forward to collaborating with Microsoft to develop new bioinformatic solutions to enable and expedite drug discovery and development,” said Rupert Vessey, vice president, Merck Research Laboratories. “This is part of our previously announced strategy designed to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our Basic Research operations to ensure long-term pipeline productivity.”

“We’re excited to collaborate with Merck and augment the capabilities of Amalga Life Sciences with the complementary assets of Rosetta Biosoftware,” said Peter Neupert, corporate vice president, Health Solutions Group, Microsoft. “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.”

Introduced in April 2009, Microsoft Amalga Life Sciences is a new software platform designed to transform health and life sciences research data into the critical knowledge needed for the discovery of new treatments. The platform helps organizations across the life sciences spectrum accelerate research and discovery efforts by automating the management and analysis of massive, heterogeneous research data. This gives scientists and  image researchers the opportunity to redesign, manage and control research processes to increase productivity, reduce errors and improve decision-making.

The deal is expected to close at the end of June 2009, and the new Amalga Life Sciences platform incorporating Rosetta Biosoftware technologies is slated to be available in early 2010. Microsoft is pursuing hiring Rosetta Biosoftware employees who can fill roles that are critical to the effective incorporation of Rosetta Biosoftware technologies into the Amalga Life Sciences platform. Until the deal is closed, Rosetta Biosoftware will continue to operate as a business unit of Rosetta Inpharmatics LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Merck.

About Microsoft in Health

Microsoft is committed to improving health around the world through software innovation. Over the past 12 years Microsoft has steadily increased its investments in health, with a focus on addressing the challenges of health providers, health and social services organizations, payers, consumers, and life sciences companies worldwide. Microsoft closely collaborates with a broad ecosystem of partners and develops its own powerful health solutions, such as Amalga and HealthVault. Together, Microsoft and its industry partners are working to advance a vision of unifying health information and making it more readily available, ensuring the best quality of life and affordable care for everyone.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Related Reading:

Big Pharma Exploring and Moving Data to the Cloud – IT Execs Talk about How It is Being Done

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Merck Purchases Insmed – Biosimilar Biotech Drug Company

A Deep Dive into Microsoft Life Sciences Today and in the Future – Interview with Michael Naimoli

Microsoft Introduces Groundbreaking Technology – Amalga Life Sciences Software

Microsoft Research Trento Centre: Biology and Computer Science Coming Together
Microsoft’s Growing Push into Life Sciences
Microsoft Research: Research & Programs for Healthcare
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