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Bruker Announces Acquisition of SCiLS GmbH

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Bruker announced the acquisition of SCiLS GmbH in Bremen, Germany.  SCiLS develops innovative software tools such as statistical analysis software, sophisticated visualization viewers, and secure cloud-based services for collaborative interpretation of complex mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) data sets.  Financial details were not disclosed.

Founded as a spin-off from the University of Bremen, the SCiLS founders have research backgrounds in mathematics, biochemistry, and informatics, positioning SCiLS to offer software tools that translate complex, data-rich mass spectrometry images to accessible information.  Currently, 95% of all MSI data is acquired by label-free MALDI imaging systems.  The combination of SCiLS™ software and MALDI imaging systems like the Bruker rapifleX™ high-resolution MALDI-TOF(/TOF), and the solariX™ XR extreme-resolution MALDI-FTMS, expand the scope of MSI from life-science research to pharmaceutical applications with the Molecular Drug Imager Solution™, and to translational pathology research with the MALDI Tissuetyper™.

SCiLS software provides advanced tools for data handling and computational analysis of multiple data sets, including full sample cohorts.  It provides instant visualization of m/z based image analysis, including edge-preserving image de-noising and automatic hotspot removal, automated spatial segmentation for annotation of features, pattern extraction, and building classifying models based on training data and classification of new samples.  Recently, SCiLS introduced SCiLS Cloud, where results can be shared and viewed with a web browser through secure access, facilitating collaborative research on a global basis.  The SCiLS products SCiLS Lab, SCiLS Lab 3D, and SCiLS Cloud support MALDI high-resolution data sets, enabling scientists to gain new insights into the spatial distribution of small molecules, metabolites, lipids, proteins and glycans from formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) or fresh-frozen tissue samples.  SCiLS enables comparative analytics for finding biomarkers that discriminate pathophysiological regions (disease, disease adjacent, healthy), and the determination of molecular margins.   Feature extraction techniques make it simple to compare MSI data to conventional H&E-stained FFPE tissue.

Professor Peter Maass, Professor Theodore Alexandrov and Dr. Dennis Trede, the founders of SCiLS, commented: “We are very pleased by the evolution of SCiLS, and now that SCiLS is a part of Bruker’s global infrastructure it will make mass spec-based imaging more accessible.  SCiLS has always been a dynamic, innovation-driven company creating computational tools required for the molecular interpretation of MSI data, with the ultimate aim to bridge the gap between advanced research and routine applications. As MSI is rapidly advancing in multiple application areas, we believe SCiLS has set the stage for becoming the de facto standard for mass spectrometry imaging software.”

Dr. Rohan Thakur, Executive Vice President at Bruker Daltonics, added: “The combination of the advanced SCiLS software tools coupled with the power of Bruker’s high-resolution MALDI imaging systems is an exciting development.  Our goal is to advance the MSI field and enable a deeper understanding of the spatial distribution of various molecules in the disciplines of biomarker discovery, pharma drug tissue distribution studies, all the way to translational research in anatomical pathology and future diagnostic applications.”

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