Explorer staff report

For $100 million, Oro Valley-based Ventana Medical Systems plans to acquire a California digital pathology imaging company, Ventana's parent company Roche has announced.

Purchase of BioImagene, Inc., a privately held company based in Sunnyvale, Calif., "further strengthens Roche's global leadership in tissue-based cancer diagnostics and research," a release said.

BioImagene is "an innovative leader in the field of digital pathology workflow and analysis," it continued. "Digital pathology is a suite of dynamic, image-based technologies that enable image capture, information management, image analysis and virtual sharing of patients' tissue samples on glass slides."

"As part of the personalized healthcare approach, pathologists are increasingly involved in generating information with high impact on treatment decisions," said Daniel O'Day, chief operating officer of Roche Diagnostics. "The increasing complexity of new tests and technologies creates tremendous need for more sophisticated tools for tissue analysis and diagnosis. BioImagene products will complement and strengthen our current offering in image analysis and information management."

"With its leadership position in pathology and its global reach, Ventana is the ideal partner for BioImagene," said Ajit Singh, chief executive officer of BioImagene, Inc. "Ventana is already a leader in image analysis for breast cancer applications and has a wide range of market-leading diagnostics products used in hospitals and laboratories worldwide. In turn, BioImagene brings to Ventana additional capabilities for scanning and analyzing tissue that are not possible in the glass-slide world."

BioImagene's products create high-resolution, whole-slide digital images from glass microscope slides. They also provide the software to view, analyze and manage tissue images using a computer, taking pathology beyond traditional microscope applications. In addition, the company's products improve workflow efficiency in image archiving and retrieval, remote case review and turnaround time, the release said.

"Through this acquisition, Ventana is uniquely positioned to improve laboratory efficiency and help pathologists improve patient care," said Hany Massarany, president of Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. "Our VIAS Image Analysis System was the first entry into the digital pathology market and is now the leading system for automated image analysis in breast cancer. With BioImagene's current and future products, we will be able to deliver an end-to-end solution from automated staining to comprehensive patient reports."

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