Medidata Solutions, the global provider of SaaS-based development solutions to improve the efficiency of clinical trials, is tapping into “a new, different and better approach” to clinical trial management systems (CTMS) by acquiring UK company Clinical Force.

US-based Medidata has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Clinical Force, described as a “pioneer” in CTMS using the software as a service (SaaS) model, for an undisclosed sum. The deal is subject to the customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed early in Medidata’s fiscal third quarter, which ends on 30 September 2011.

Current Clinical Force revenue is not material to Medidata’s finances in 2011, but it is expected to grow based on access to Medidata’s global capabilities, the latter noted.

Pure-play CTMS

Based in London and with a North American office in Raleigh, North Carolina, Clinical Force started life in the late 1990s as LiveWire, developing and delivering a life science e-publishing/knowledge-sharing solution that enabled pharmaceutical companies to communicate to internal and external audiences via multiple electronic channels.

In 2004, the company was repositioned as Clinical Force, a pure-play vendor of web-based technology to meet the challenges of managing, tracking and reporting on clinical trials.

It did not expand into electronic data capture or other technologies to support clinical trials because the user bases and deployments for these areas are different, the CTM market is “very broad and requires full attention”, and Clinical Force has always believed in best-of-breed solutions that come from specialisation, the company explains.

Low-risk solution

Clinical Force has customers in North America, Europe and India, including more than a dozen contract research organisations. According to Medidata, the UK company has smoothed the adoption of CTMS by offering “a low-risk solution that is quick-to-deploy, easy-to-use, flexible and modular”.

The Clinical Force CTMS allows research organisations, both large and small, selectively and rapidly to automate a wide range of processes including time and expense management, milestone tracking, monitoring reports and clinical investigator payments, Medidata said.

Research sponsors and CROs are increasingly looking to reduce the financial and operational-management burden of clinical trials, streamline clinical processes and increase the visibility of timely information that enhances governance and decision-making, the company pointed out.

Software systems aimed at addressing these challenges have typically required complex implementation projects with large upfront investments, lengthy timelines and ongoing maintenance costs, it added.

Different and better

“Clinical Force brings a new, different and better approach to CTMS with broad appeal to large clinical development organisations as well as the largely underserved mid-market sponsors and regional CROs,” commented Tarek Sherif, chairman and chief executive officer of Medidata Solutions.

“The company’s innovative offering strategically enhances our comprehensive SaaS platform, providing further opportunities for our customers to optimise key clinical, financial and operational processes, accelerate time to value and lower clinical development costs,” he said.