Phase Forward, the US-based company that specialises in data management solutions for clinical trials and drug safety, has announced that its chairman and founder, Dr Paul Bleicher, will step down from his day-to-day operational responsibilities at the end of this month.

He will be succeeded as chairman by Bob Weiler, president and chief executive officer of Phase Forward. Bleicher will remain on the company’s board “while applying his proven entrepreneurial talents as part of the founding team of a new venture in the next-generation healthcare informatics market”, Phase Forward noted.

Bleicher set up the company in 1997. Since its initial public offering in July 2004, Phase Forward has posted 16 consecutive quarters of revenue growth, giving a four-year compound annual growth rate of more than 23%, the company pointed out.

It also described Bleicher as a “strategic visionary” in the field of pharmaceutical information technology who pioneered the concept of internet-based electronic data capture, helped introduce XML–based standards to the industry and was involved in the initial effort to create the Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium Operational Data Model standard.

Last month Phase Forward underlined the trend towards integrated solutions in the eClinical space by paying US$40 million in cash for Clarix LLC, a provider of fully Web-integrated interactive response technology.