GoBalto lands global site activation software deal with Icon

GoBalto has landed a deal with Icon ($ICLR) that will see its site activation software used across all of the CRO's global studies. The agreement gives Icon another tool with which to shorten study startup times, potentially helping it to accelerate the rate at which it burns through its backlog of bookings.

Activate, goBalto's study startup software-as-a-service, is designed to replace the Excel spreadsheets and manual work that have been central to the process of bringing a clinical trial online in the past. GoBalto has built the software to provide real-time oversight of the startup process, giving sponsors a way to stay on top of the documentation and communication that go into activating investigator sites. Icon sees the tool supporting its ongoing attempt to streamline study startup through the use of data and IT.

"Accelerating study startup timelines is a key component of our Iconik Informatics Hub strategy," Marie Keegan, VP and global functional head of study startup at Icon, said in a statement. "Following a comprehensive review of our study startup activities, we adopted a range of new processes and procedures that have streamlined our site activation. We supplemented this with the capabilities of goBalto's Activate and Analyze to drive our study startup process, and are seeing significant positive impact on cycle time, quality and productivity as a result."

Icon has integrated Activate into its clinical trial management system (CTMS) and data warehouse. The CTMS is overseeing the planning and performance of the trial. Activate is handling the processes and metrics involved with activating sites. The next step is to connect Activate to Icon's electronic trial master file (eTMF) system, where the documents overseen by goBalto's software while they are in progress will go for storage once they are completed. GoBalto has designed Activate to support this process by integrating it with the eTMF system offered by Veeva ($VEEV).

Collectively, the features are designed to eliminate headwinds that traditionally slow the startup of clinical trials. In recent years, such headwinds have intensified for CROs as the complexity of clinical trials they oversee has soared, resulting in a slowdown in the rate at which their backlog of bookings converts to revenue. Icon and Quintiles ($Q) are among the CROs to have adopted strategies intended to address the issue.

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