Motorola Invests in Virtual Tissue Bank

Motorola has made a strategic equity investment in TissueInformatics, a privately held, Pittsburgh-based bioinformatics company that is building the world’s first Virtual Tissue Banks. Under the terms of the agreement, Motorola and TissueInformatics will also work toward a two-way technology transfer agreement.

TissueInformatics is developing Virtual Tissue Banks to facilitate drug discovery, tissue engineering and the scientific evaluation of human and plant tissues. Virtual Tissue Banks of normal and diseased tissues could eventually aid researchers in finding new treatments for diseases such as diabetes, breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. Researchers at pharmaceutical, genomics and tissue engineering companies will gain proprietary access to these Web-based Virtual Tissue Banks via the Internet.

Dr. Peter Johnson, President and CEO of TissueInformatics, said, ‘We also believe this will be the first step toward a long-term collaboration that could combine Motorola’s advanced microarray (biochip) technology and wireless capabilities with TissueInformatics’ understanding of tissue-related sciences.’

‘Motorola established a BioChip Systems division about one year ago to develop high-quality biochip technology and products that will enable researchers to uncover the promise of genomics and, in turn, enable delivery on the dream of improved healthcare. By combining TissueInformatic’s Virtual Tissue Bank data with the tissue-specific gene expression information enabled by our Biochip Systems division, we can help make these databases even more useful over time. We also believe this alliance will accelerate acceptance of both Virtual Tissue Banks and the biochip technologies in practical clinical uses,’ said Rud Istvan, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Future Businesses.

Products in development by Motorola BioChip Systems include microarray based SNP and expression analysis systems, centered around a 3-dimensional gel pad technology. Research and development activity also includes microfluidics and other advanced technology platforms.

The flexible array and microfluidic architectures adopted by Motorola BioChip Systems offer the ability to support applications that include DNA/RNA analysis and proteomics. The ability to integrate biochips with instrumentation, informatics, and communications creates possibilities for product solutions ranging from laboratory systems to distributed point of care systems and beyond.

Last year, Clinical Micro Sensors also announced that it had entered into a multi-year strategic alliance with Motorola to further advance developments in electronics and biochip technology. CMS has developed a patented technology for detecting and analyzing DNA and other biomolecules. This detection technology uses durable biochips.