eC-SSRS Solution from ERT Facilitates Compliance with New FDA Guidance on Suicidality Assessment in Clinical Trials

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- ERT (Nasdaq: ERES  - News), a global provider of technology and services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries, announced that its eC-SSRS (Electronic Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale) solution facilitates compliance with the newly introduced Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidance document entitled "Suicidality: Prospective Assessment of Occurrence in Clinical Trials."  A copy of this guidance can be downloaded from www.ert.com.

The recently released FDA guidance document is intended to assist sponsors in assessing the occurrence of treatment-related suicidality in clinical trials or drug and biological products. The guidance highlights the increasingly recognized importance of suicidality assessment in psychiatric and non-psychiatric drug trials and provides general principles for how best to achieve effective assessment during the drug development process. The document highlights the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), which comprises a detailed interview as an approved assessment instrument. The guidance intends to serve as a focus for continued discussions among the FDA, pharmaceutical sponsors, the academic community and the public.

ERT's eC-SSRS is an electronic self-rated version of the C-SSRS, which was developed in collaboration with the scale authors and provides a cost-effective method of proactively monitoring suicidality for trial sponsors. The solution was designed in anticipation of the FDA recommendations outlined in the newly released guidance document. Using interactive voice-response technology validated against the C-SSRS, the eC-SSRS is a fully structured interview providing standardized questions, relevant follow-up questions, error-handling routines and scoring conventions. Helping to facilitate the FDA requirements, the eC-SSRS solution enables timely identification of possible risks and supplies rapid feedback to study sites for evaluation and follow-up.

Michael Federico, Vice President, ePRO, comments, "The release of the FDA document highlights the growing focus on treatment-related suicidality and the need to develop an accurate and effective method for use in clinical trials to enhance effective patient-safety monitoring. Bearing in mind the concerns regarding the burdens placed on investigators, ERT has created the eC-SSRS, a validated representation of the interview version C-SSRS, which facilitates the ability to reliably and reproducibly assess suicidality and comply with FDA guidance."

For further information on ERT and its technology and services, please email [email protected], call +1 215 972 0420 or visit www.ert.com.

For further press information, please contact Fiona Robinson, The Scott Partnership, 1 Whiteside, Station Road, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire CW4 8AA, United Kingdom. Phone +44 1477 539539, Fax +44 1477 539540, email [email protected]

About ERT

Based in Philadelphia, PA, eResearchTechnology, Inc. (www.ert.com) is a global provider of technology and services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries.  The Company is a market leader in providing centralized core-diagnostic electrocardiographic (ECG) technology and services to evaluate cardiac safety in clinical development. It is also a leading provider of centralized respiratory technology and services to evaluate pulmonary function efficacy and safety in clinical development.  Sponsors can further use the Company's solutions to streamline the clinical trials process by automating the collection, analysis, and distribution of ePRO clinical data using multi-mode technology in all phases of clinical development as well as selected medical devices for the clinical trials and healthcare industries.

Statements included in this release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied from such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the Company's ability to obtain new contracts, variability in size, scope, and duration of projects, integration of acquisitions, competitive factors, technological development, market demand, and other factors described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

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