Informatics Mergers

Two acquisitions were announced in late June involving providers of laboratory software (see page 2). IDBS agreed to purchase InforSense, creating a portfolio of products for storing, managing and analyzing R&D lab data. LabVantage Solutions purchased Applied Biosystems’ LIMS business, uniting two long-established LIMS companies. The acquisitions indicate further consolidation among laboratory software providers.

The acquisition of InforSense adds to IDBS’s tools for data storage and management, which includes the E-Workbook electronic laboratory notebooks and Activity Base data storage and management platform. InforSense provides tools for data integration, manipulation and sharing based on a web-based, visual interface. Products include VisualSense for interactive visualization and reporting of research data, and ClinicalSense clinical research software for cohort identification. ”The ability to rapidly develop and deploy diverse data integration and analysis workflows, displayed and interactive in VisualSense and providing genomics, proteomics and clinical data integrations in ClinicalSense will dramatically augment IDBS’s portfolio of products. IDBS will be the first company in the market to offer such a complete range of capture, integration and reporting applications,” stated Chris Molloy, vice president of Corporate Development for IDBS. As he told IBO, “IDBS and InforSense’s joint customers have already proven the value of integrations between the two technologies. As with all IDBS’s product lines, the InforSense suite will be integrated to provide new applications and solutions, which will be available to existing and new customers. The products will be sold separately, and in combination to provide the best solutions for research customers.”

The acquisition will also add expertise to IDBS. All employees of InforSense will join IDBS. “IDBS will benefit from InforSense’s experienced software development team in Shanghai and will be forging a strong informatics research bond with Imperial College, which will add further innovative technologies to the enlarged organization.” InforSense is a spin out from London’s Imperial College

Formed itself as the result of an acquisition (see IBO 5/15/97), LabVantage is set to become a larger player in the LIMS market with the purchase of Applied Biosystems’ SQL*LIMS business. LabVantage provides the enterprise-based, thin-client SAPPHIRE and LVL LIMS. According to Ron Kasner, vice president of Corporate Development for LabVantage, LabVantage will continue to sell the SQL*LIMS product. “Existing SQL*LIMS customers and those potential customers seeking to purchase SQL*LIMS should rest assured that their investment in SQL*LIMS will be protected. We will maintain our commitment to support the SQL*LIMS product and customers,” he said.

Mr. Kasner told IBO that the acquisition expands LabVantage’s geographical presence. “LabVantage currently only maintains a direct presence in North America, the United Kingdom, India and China. The global SQL*LIMS team of over 70 people includes a strong direct presence in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, North and South America, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom.” Most SQL*LIMS employees will join LabVantage.

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