hase Forward, the US-based supplier of data management solutions for clinical trials and drug safety, has acquired Maaguzi LLC, a US company specialising in web-based electronic patient reported outcomes (ePRO) and solutions for late-phase clinical studies.

Phase Forward is paying US$11 million in cash for Maaguzi, which is privately held and has operations in Indianapolis, Indiana and Morrisville, North Carolina. The announcement comes hard on the heels of Phase Forward’s agreement to take over the Interactive Voice & Web Response Services (IVRS/IWRS) business of contract research organisation Covance in a US$10 million cash deal.

And in April Phase Forward paid US$14 million in cash for Waban Software, a US-based supplier of platform solutions for automation and compliance in clinical data analysis and reporting.

The latest acquisition extends the scope of Phase Forward’s integrated clinical research suite (ICRS) and marks the company’s entry into the “increasingly important” ePRO and observational studies markets, it noted.

More and more, clinical studies are incorporating data reported directly by patients, Phase Forward observed. Collecting these data electronically makes for better quality and regulatory compliance than traditional paper diary methods.

While the market was initially addressed through personal digital assistant (PDA) technology, Maaguzi “is pioneering the next generation of ePRO solutions that leverage Web-based interfaces, providing greater cost-effectiveness and the ability to address a broader range of ePRO market requirements”, Phase Forward said.

It also pointed to the growing focus on late-phase observational studies and registries that combine investigator-collected and patient-reported data. Maaguzi’s Outcome Logix product combines both types of data into “a single, flexible Web-based system supported on all common browsers”.

Scott Dixon, chief operating officer of Maaguzi, is joining Phase Forward as vice president of the latter’s newly formed Outcome Logix Group. “We believe that Phase Forward’s global presence, financial strength and brand awareness will prove valuable assets in providing customers with a comprehensive solution for integrating Web-based, patient-reported outcome data into their clinical trials,” he commented.