Microsoft buys Merck unit in life sciences push

The software maker said on Monday it is buying a unit of drug giant Merck to help its Amalga Life Sciences product.

Microsoft said on Monday it is buying the assets of Rosetta Biosoftware, a unit of Merck, as part of an effort to expand into the life sciences software arena.

The Rosetta technology will be used to add genetic and genomic data management abilities to Microsoft's recently announced Amalga Life Sciences effort.

As part of the deal, Merck will now become an Amalga customer, Microsoft said, Merck will also "provide strategic input to Microsoft on the direction and evolution of new solutions incorporating Rosetta Biosoftware technologies."

"This agreement establishes a stable and sustainable platform for the Rosetta Biosoftware technology," Merck Research Laboratories VP Rupert Vessey said in a statement.

Microsoft, which has a separate Amalga product family for hospitals , announced in April that it would offer Microsoft Amalga Life Sciences as an effort to help in the drug research software arena. The tools are designed to help manage and analyze the large amounts of data gathered in the process of designing new drugs.

The Merck deal is expected to close at the end of June 2009, and the new Amalga Life Sciences platform incorporating Rosetta Biosoftware technologies should be available in early 2010, Microsoft said.

About the author

    During her years at CNET News, Ina Fried has changed beats several times, changed genders once, and covered both of the Pirates of Silicon Valley. These days, most of her attention is focused on Microsoft. E-mail Ina.

     

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