Oracle's ClearTrial Acquisition Boosts Clinical Drug Research

By acquiring ClearTrial, Oracle gains a single-software suite that allows pharmaceutical companies to manage clinical trials from planning to payment.

In its ongoing effort to boost its health care portfolio, Oracle is acquiring ClearTrial, a provider of cloud clinical trial software. The deal gives Oracle a new portfolio of applications designed to help manage the long, often-costly research process involved in the development of new prescription drugs.

The enterprise software giant will combine ClearTrial's platform with its own software for clinical trials to make a single suite to handle the clinical drug trial process from planning to payment.

Announced March 29, the deal is expected to close in the first half of 2012. The two companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

With Oracle's deep software lineup for the life sciences and health care applications, teaming up with the company seemed like a good fit, according to ClearTrial CEO Mike Soenen.

"As the leading provider of technology and applications for the life sciences and health care industries, Oracle is the next logical step in our ability to best service our customers and extend our solution's reach," Soenen said in a statement.

Like Oracle, ClearTrial provides software for clinical drug trials. ClearTrial's applications offer embedded intelligence to help life science companies manage the costs and complexities of launching new drugs.

Oracle also offers software such as the Health Sciences Trial Center application, which allows drug researchers to get a single real-time view of multiple clinical trials in the cloud.

Biopharmaceutical manufacturers such as Astra-Zeneca and Genentech use ClearTrial's software.

With the acquisition, drug investigators will be able to more effectively manage clinical drug trials across different locations, outsourcers, treatment types and trial phases, according to Oracle.

ClearTrial's strength is in helping researchers forecast the costs of drug trials, Oracle reported. Software combined from the two companies will make budget planning and forecasting more effective for drug manufacturers as well as medical device and diagnostic companies, Oracle reported. Contract research organizations (CROs) will also benefit from the acquisition, according to Oracle.

"Biopharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic companies, as well as CROs, are facing increasing pressure to deliver clinical development projects on time and within budget," Neil de Crescenzo, senior vice president and general manager for Oracle Health Sciences, said in a statement.

It will also allow drug researchers to gain transparency into the performance of trials as well as collaboration, investing and decision making, according to the company. It enables trial managers to create reports on the cost, resources and timelines for drug research projects.

In addition, analytics and algorithms in ClearTrial's software help researchers make decisions on the efficacy of drugs. ClearTrial offers 200 therapeutic indications, along with data from 90 countries.

By combining ClearTrial with the Oracle Health Sciences Cloud, Oracle hopes to make the clinical development process more cost-effective and better integrate data on clinical development and managing the safety of drugs.

The Health Sciences Cloud provides a secure environment for life science companies to capture data, report patient outcomes, manage drug supplies and automate research clinics.

"Adding ClearTrial to the Oracle Health Sciences Cloud will help our customers streamline the clinical development process and help them bring therapies to market with greater predictability and at lower costs," said de Crescenzo.

"Clinical trials are being planned and managed with unprecedented rigor and specificity, given the industry's trend toward globalization of R&D and the continued growth in outsourcing," said Soenen.

Oracle and ClearTrial will continue with separate product plans until the deal closes.