US-based contract research organisation (CRO) PRA International has addressed demand for greater standardisation and efficiency in the management and delivery of clinical trial data by acquiring Kinship Technologies, a drug development software and services provider based in Chennai, India.

While no financial details were released on the acquisition, the driver was Kinship’s EXACT system, described by PRA as a “game changer”. EXACT allows users quickly to construct re-usable programmes for data extraction, data transformation, statistical reporting and electronic publishing, in a visual environment with limited code writing, its new owner explained.

PRA will use the EXACT system to simplify and automate the production of multiple Clinical Data Interchange Standards Consortium (CDISC) standards as well as tables, figures and listings in trial reports.

The CDISC is a US-based non-profit organisation set up to develop and support global, platform-independent data standards that enable interoperability of information systems to improve medical research and related areas of healthcare.

PRA is also integrating the Kinship team to “accelerate the development of technology solutions that will enhance PRA’s service delivery and reshape how the industry manages trials and delivers trial data”, it said. 

Streamlined process

Among the benefits the Kinship EXACT system will bring to PRA and its clients are significant efficiencies, new library management capabilities, streamlined processes for documentation, and improved quality and reliability, the company noted.

The acquisition also advances PRA’s strategy of establishing a centre of excellence for software product development, it pointed out.

“The process of how data is converted and analysed in our industry has remained unchanged for over 20 years,” commented Steve Powell, PRA’s senior vice president of Clinical Informatics & Late Phase Services. 

With the increasing prevalence of CDISC standards, he added, “we felt the need to significantly change the process to create a more efficient delivery model and provide our customers more validation and visibility into our work”.

PRA’s wider goal is to create a “high-quality, efficient, paperless, data-driven, end-to-end clinical management delivery process”. It has started to integrate other state-of-the-art eClinical solutions company-wide to enhance its client service and position itself for future trends in trial delivery, PRA noted.