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

Walban, which has headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts as well as operations in Mumbai, India, will be incorporated into Phase Forward as the Waban Software Group. Phase Forward specialises in data management solutions for clinical trials and drug safety.

The acquired company’s Statistical Computing Environment and Clinical Data Repository (SCE/CDR) solutions provide automation, traceability and control of the key activities involved in integrating, analysing and reporting on clinical trial data, Phase Forward explained.

These elements have increasingly become a focal point for life sciences companies, “as there is greater scrutiny to ensure results produced and reported are high-quality and fully traceable”, it added.

Wabar’s SCE/CDR solutions also allow for integration of data and meta-data from multiple sources, as well as aggregation and version control, “which is critical to providing a secure, centralised repository for analysing and storing clinical trial datasets”, Phase Forward noted. And customers can integrate Waban’s platform solution with traditional third-party analytical tools used by biostatistics groups.

In addition, Waban offers Specimen Management Systems (Waban SMS) and Laboratory Information Management Solutions (Waban LIMS) for biobanking, pharmacogenomics and biomarker development.

“We have witnessed growing demand from life sciences companies to streamline the link between the data management and biostatistics activities,” commented Bob Weiler, chairman and chief executive officer of Phase Forward.

“We believe that combining [Waban’s] capability with our market-leading InForm electronic data capture solution provides us with the industry’s broadest and most comprehensive clinical data solutions in the market and adds to the solid momentum of our business.”

Waban generated revenues of around US$4 million and “break-even” operating income in 2008, with a total staff of 81 worldwide, Phase Forward said. The local operations will be based at Phase Forward’s headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Dr Himanshu Oberoi, president of Waban, has been named vice president, Waban Software Group for Phase Forward.