Microsoft's life sciences push
The software giant announced it's acquired certain assets of Rosetta Biosoftware, a business unit of Rosetta Inpharmatics LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of drug giant Merck & Co. This news follows Microsoft's April launch of its [Amalga Life Science software system](http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/apr09/04-28Bio11PR.mspx) designed to help organizations across the life sciences spectrum accelerate research and discovery efforts by automating the management and analysis of massive, heterogeneous research data.
Microsoft said the deal will let it 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.
While Microsoft's latest [consumer search launch, Bing](/search/article.php/3822511/Ballmer+Ushers+In+Microsofts+Bing.htm), is grabbing all the headlines, Almaga features some pretty cutting edge information retrieval capabilities in its own right. Microsoft claims Amalga helps users "achieve the next level of research capability by connecting data and investigators in new ways through novel storage capabilities, ontology management functions and a semantic query environment powered by a next-generation reasoning engine."
**The vision of personalized medicine**
"Our researchers face an overwhelming challenge to collect, analyze, interpret and share complex data from a wide range of diseases and experiments," said Lee Hartwell, Ph.D., president and director, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and 2001 Nobel Laureate in a statement. "We look forward to exploring the potential of Amalga Life Sciences to help us understand this data in a rich and efficient way and ultimately help us meet our vision of enabling personalized medicine."
Amalga interfaces with existing and future systems in what Microsoft says is an open and active software system.
"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 of 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."
Microsoft's other big health-related effort is [Health Vault](/webcontent/article.php/3751826), its system designed to help consumers gain online access and portability to their medical records. Google has a similar initiative called [Google Health](/software/article.php/3801381/IBMs+Shot+in+the+Arm+for+Google+Health+Tech.htm).