WCG buys eCOA experts MedAvante and ProPhase

Doctor with computer and gadgets
WIRB-Copernicus Group acquires MedAvante and ProPhase.

WIRB-Copernicus Group (WCG) continued an acquisition spree with purchases of electronic clinical outcome assessments (eCOA) specialists MedAvante and ProPhase.

Both companies have a track record in providing technology solutions for central nervous system and behavioral health clinical data collection and analysis. The additions could make WCG a leader in that field.

Hamilton, New Jersey-based MedAvante was co-founded by current CEO Paul Gilbert and president Amy Ellis in 2002. They recognized that pharmas’ constant failures in testing psychotropic drugs at that time were largely caused by subjective assessments, which can be prejudicial and biased.

To solve that, the company created “Central Raters,” which uses phone or videoconference to remotely assess clinical outcome, and thus clears some of the irrelevant scoring variables and reduces the number of raters.

After years of evolution and additions, the company’s services have culminated in Virgil, a cloud-based eSource platform that provides eCOA and data management for clinical trials in different therapeutic areas.

Aiming at better signal detection of treatment efficacy, the eSource platform has conducted more than 687,000 assessments of 56,000 clinical trial subjects in 233,000 study visits, and its data have resulted in successful submissions to both the FDA and EMA, says the company.

Similar to MedAvante, New York-based ProPhase also uses mobile devices to help select, surveillance and analyze behavioral endpoints or ePRO for clinical trials. Besides that, it also provides training for Raters, clinical research associates, as well as patients and caregivers. The company says it “specializes in the development of new outcome measures, calibration of real world outcomes, placebo response mitigation, and prediction of treatment adherence.”

The two companies will be led by Jeffrey Litwin, M.D., as the CEO of the combined organization. “Combining the strengths of MedAvante and ProPhase with the expansive clinical research expertise and global reach of WCG will provide best-of-class expertise and services for those conducting clinical trials in the challenging fields of CNS and mental health,” said Litwin in a release.

WCG, an industry leader in providing regulatory and ethical review services for clinical researches, has been in quite an acquisitive mood since 2016.    

In March 2016, it acquired Raleigh, NC-based Clintrax Global, which specializes in global clinical trial contract negotiation and site payments. It then signed a deal last June with karmadata for the latter’s proprietary clinical trial data management applications, as well as an exclusive license to use its big data on clinical trial investigators and trial sites. That same month, clinical trials information provider CenterWatch joined the WCG family.

Just a week before this MedAvante-ProPhase deal, the Princeton, NJ-headquartered clinical trial supporter bought ThreeWire, a company focused on global patient recruitment, enrollment and retention.