The lasting benefit of genomic approaches to drug discovery may be to force biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to reevaluate how disease targets are chosen. With an abundance of sequence information, the question is not how to isolate genes of interest but which model system should be used to study gene expression. LifeSpan BioSciences, a genomics company focused on the chronic diseases associated with aging, believes that the way to validate gene targets is to go to the source - human tissue.

The company begins with a library of 250,000 tissue samples representing more than 175 different tissues and 500 different disease diagnoses. The samples are collected from pathology labs, so they come with a complete report that includes text and images for each sample describing the pathologist's findings.