Merge Healthcare to Acquire etrials Worldwide

Merge Healthcare to Acquire etrials Worldwide

Jun 04, 2009 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) -- Merge Healthcare, a health IT solutions provider, and etrials Worldwide, Inc., a supplier of clinical trials software and services, announced that they have reached a definitive agreement for the acquisition of etrials by Merge.

The companies said the combined organization will provide clinical trial sponsors and contract research organizations (CROs) configurable solutions that include both critical imaging technologies and eClinical capabilities.

"Our Merge OEM team has been a supplier of imaging solutions to pharmaceutical companies, CROs, the National Institute of Health and to veterinary hospitals for years," states Justin Dearborn, CEO of Merge Healthcare. "We believe that there could be significant synergy from incorporating our imaging and data hosting solutions with etrials' broad portfolio of integrated eClinical solutions. etrials' experience in conducting global clinical trials also complements Merge's international expansion initiatives." According to a release, clinical trials are vital to the approval of new pharmaceutical treatments and medical devices, and etrials has developed applications designed to accelerate the process, improve data quality and reduce overall trial costs. Over the past 20 years, etrials has participated in over 900 clinical trials involving more than 400,000 patients in over 70 countries through its electronic data capture (EDC), interactive voice and Web response (IVR/IWR), and electronic patient reported outcomes (ePRO) technology for clinical trial development and data management. At the same time, Merge has spent the past 20 years building software solutions that improve the speed, cost and quality of medical imaging workflow. As clinical trials are becoming more dependent on imaging information, this acquisition allows Merge to capitalize on trends and accelerate both companies' strategy to consistently deliver increased value to customers in the clinical trial market.

"etrials welcomes this opportunity to become part of Merge Healthcare," adds M. Denis Connaghan, CEO of etrials. "It continues with our strategy to take the industry in a new direction that is increasingly in demand by bringing our customers access to additional capabilities that we believe increases the value of the important clinical trial development they perform. It also gives the etrials organization a broader base of financial, product and development resources, and international relationships to continue the improvements that have been made and enable an expansion of the business." "This acquisition enables both companies to leverage the other's customer relationships, from pharmaceutical companies, CRO's, medical device manufacturers and veterinary hospitals; creating cross-sell and up-sell opportunities," continues Dearborn. "etrials' offerings have no overlap with Merge's products. We believe that this acquisition will deliver significant added value to each company's customers, partners and shareholders." ((Comments on this story may be sent to [email protected]))

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