US-based eClinical specialist Nextrials is tackling the economic slump from what is says is a position of financial strength, offering a free database design to new customers for its Prism data capture and clinical trial management software.

The offer, which is available between now and 30 June, applies to clinical studies intended to last for at least six months. It should generate “significant” savings for users, Nextrials promises.

The initiative comes at a time when clinical trial delays and costs are growing due to increasingly complex and ambitious protocols, the company notes, adding: “This has sometimes spelled disaster for young biopharmaceutical and medical device firms trying to get a single product to market, and derailed more diverse and long-term programmes within Fortune 500 pharmaceutical companies”.

Nextrials “has been very fortunate to have been profitable every year since its inception in 1999 and, as a result, we are now able to make an investment back into our industry,” commented co-founder and chief executive officer James Rogers. “In today’s changing economic climate, we recognise that new, potentially life-saving drugs and devices are at risk of being delayed in their development.”

Offering new customers a free database design “is one way we believe we can introduce the cost- and time-saving benefits of electronic data capture to organisations that may still be running paper-based clinical trials or into those organisations that have postponed studies due to the high costs incurred with other EDC vendors”, Rogers added.

Last May Nextrials said it had boosted its revenues by 80% in 2007, driven by continued growth in multi-study contracts and increased traction within the medical device community for the flagship Prism clinical trial management software.