Oracle buys Phase Forward for $685M

Oracle announced today that it's purchasing Phase Forward for $17.00 per share in cash, or about $685 million. The deal, which is expected to close in mid-2010, represents a 30 percent premium over Phase Forward's closing price Thursday.

Waltham, MA-based Phase Forward develops data management solutions for clinical trials and drug safety. The company's Integrated Clinical Research Suite manages clinical development and safety processes from Phase I clinical trials through regulatory submission and post-approval monitoring, according to Oracle's release. Phase Forward says its technology has been used in more than 10,000 clinical trials by a laundry list of Big Pharma companies and regulatory agencies.

Oracle say the acquisition is part of the company's ongoing strategy to provide mission-critical applications for key industries. "The life sciences and healthcare industries are converging as they seek to control costs while accelerating patient-centered innovation," says Neil de Crescenzo, Oracle's senior vice president and general manager, in a statement. "Phase Forward brings outstanding products and employees with significant expertise to Oracle that will help enable the delivery of personalized medicine and value-based healthcare."

Last year the software giant also acquired Relsys International, a provider of drug safety and risk management solutions with analytics for the health sciences industry.

- here's Phase Forward's release
- read the CNET article for more