Oracle Acquires IT Health Services Provider

Oracle announces it is acquiring Relsys International, a company that provides drug safety and risk management solutions with advanced analytics. Acquiring Relsys will position Oracle to deliver a suite of software applications specifically designed for the growing field of health care IT, including clinical development, post-market surveillance and patient care apps.

Oracle announced on March 23 an agreement to acquire Relsys International, which offers drug safety and risk management solutions with advanced analytics for the health sciences industry.

Relsys offers solutions for event reporting, risk management and data analysis in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology arenas. By acquiring Relsys, Oracle will gain the ability to deliver software applications for drug safety in every part of the clinical development chain as well as post-market surveillance and patient care.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2009; financial details of the transaction were not disclosed by either Oracle or Relsys, both of which will continue to operate independently until the deal is finalized.

"The health sciences industry is increasing investments in software that provide greater transparency into drug safety and help improve the overall safety of therapies," Neil de Crescenzo, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Health Sciences, said in a statement. By acquiring Relsys, Oracle will be positioned to deliver "a comprehensive software solution that enables our vision of integrated safety and risk management supported by advanced analytics."

IT companies have been exploring ways to penetrate the potentially lucrative health care market. On March 5, Google announced that users of its Google Health solution would be able to share their medical records and personal health information with trusted contacts online.

In June 2008, Oracle created its Health Sciences Global Business Unit, designed to provide software application to the health-services industry. Its software applications in the health care space include Oracle Clinical, Oracle Remote Data Capture, Oracle Adverse Event Reporting System, and Oracle's Siebel Clinical Trial Management System.

Despite the recession, Oracle has performed steadily, with third-quarter fiscal 2009 earnings per share up 3 percent over the same quarter last year. It has also released a wave of new products designed to make inroads in separate areas of the enterprise.

In recent weeks, Oracle has seemed close to acquiring SMB server virtualization specialist Virtual Iron Software, according to an analyst and a number of Web sites, in order to better position itself to compete with VMware and Citrix Systems in the area of virtualization products.

On March 9, the company released Oracle Sourcing On Demand, a SAAS (software as a service) solution designed to make supply chain management more efficient and cost-effective.

And on Feb. 4, in its first acquisition of 2009, Oracle purchased mValent, which offered configuration management solutions that could be used to provide efficiencies within Oracle Enterprise Manager.