Oracle said Friday it will buy Phase Forward, a software solutions provider of applications for life sciences companies and healthcare providers, in a deal worth around $685 million.
Oracle said the acquisition is consistent with its strategy to add complimentary assets to its Oracle Health Sciences division.
The company also predicts that Phase Forward's SaaS- based integrated clinical research suite which manages clinical development Phase 1 clinical trials through regulatory submission to post-approval monitoring, will help Oracle's life science customers more effectively capture, access, and share data securely.
"The life sciences and healthcare industries are converging as they seek to control costs while accelerating patient-centered innovation," Neil de Crescenzo, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Health Sciences said in a statement "Phase Forward brings outstanding products and employees with significant expertise to Oracle that will help enable the delivery of personalized medicine and value-based healthcare."
In a letter posted on Oracle's website, Crescenzo also said Phase Forward's management and employees will join Oracle as a part of the Oracle Health Sciences global business unit, ensuring the continuity of products and services delivery for Phase Forward customers. The transaction is expected to close in the mid-2010.
With that war chest, Phase Forward stated acquiring companies in related fields, shelling out $11m in 2005 for Lincoln Technologies, which created software to track drug safety after they have been approved for sale by government health regulators. In September 2008, Phase Forward ponied up $40m in cash to buy Clarix, a software company that had created a Web-based interactive response technology (IRT) application suite for clinical trials, which have been traditionally managed through phone calls, not Web-based forms.
Phase Forward has quite a track record on purchasing smaller software companies that are focussed around the web. Phase Forward paid $14m to acquire Waban Software, which sold a competing set of automation and compliance tools for clinical trials with statistical analysis add-ons. And in July, it paid $11m to buy Maaguzi, which sells a set of Web-based tools to do electronic patient reported outcomes paperwork.
The combined set of Phase Forward tools have been used in over 10,000 clinical trials with more than 1 million participants by more than 300 life sciences, pharma firms and regulatory agencies and public health organizations.
Oracle expects the Phase Forward acquisition to close around the middle of 2010.