BioClinica chief Mark Weinstein on firm's eClinical makeover (Page 2)

FBIT: What concerns you about consolidation in biopharma? 

MW:  Well, I'd be silly to say it doesn't concern me. We have to pay attention to it. But still about 60 percent of our business is medical image management, which is our core where we started. And the way the medical image management works is all the major players have preferred providers. We're on everybody's list, so when somebody combines with another company--for instance, it's been publicly reported that our work with Pfizer is about an 18 percent of our business. Why is that? It's because we did a lot of work with Wyeth in the medical imaging management area. We did a lot of imaging work for Pfizer. So you combine those two pieces together, and then Tourtellotte Solutions, which was one of our acquisitions for clinical supply optimization, we actually have a consulting business that goes into Pfizer too. [Editor's Note: Pfizer acquired Wyeth in a $68 billion merger deal in 2009.]    

FBIT: What is the fastest growing area of your business, and what's behind the growth?

MW: Interestingly, imaging in total is growing in the mid-single digits. Why? We've lived through the adoption curve of the central reviewing of images that happened between 2001 and 2006. Within the imaging, the fastest growing area is CNS because of a lot of work being done in the dementia area. As a general group, we're looking for our eClinical business grow about 20 percent per year for the next three to five years, and we feel very comfortable with that.

FBIT: Why is the company restructuring its global operations, and where are the cuts being made?

MW: The imaging side of our business is where we're doing the restructuring. A system we call BioPACS, which is a system we developed ourselves, is our internal system for managing images globally. We basically, through writing that software, now do things in one place. I don't need two offices processing certain kinds of images. I can do that in one place because I can electronically and seamlessly move them around the world. I still keep my project managers in Europe because we match up time zones with the outward facing people. But in terms of when data comes into our offices, there's no reason why I can't process that data in one place.

FBIT: Wall Street seems to have favored the restructuring move, given that your stock has trended upward since the cuts were announced in February.  

MW: Obviously, you have to take a hit in the quarter that you announce it. But basically people view it as being smart about your business. It's something that we've been pretty savvy on. I have a lot of big-company experience, but I'm not a scientist, I'm a business guy. We've got tremendous scientists here and tremendous vertical knowledge, but our goal is to put it all together in such a way that it becomes appealing for the shareholders.

FBIT: How does BioClinica compete with larger eClinical players like Medidata and Oracle/Phase Forward?

MW: Oracle? That little company called Oracle? It's funny, because we don't often run into them with the EDC offering. They (Phase Forward and Medidata) were both built on electronic data capture. Most of their business is tech transfer business where they sell into the top 50 pharmas, where people have bought their platforms. And quite honestly, they're quite consumed with fighting each other for customers at that level.

Most of the time when I sell electronic data capture it's more to small- to medium-sized clients that want us to do soup to nuts where they marry the service with the technology. They don't want hardware; they don't have an IT group. Many times when you talk to a small or virtual (life sciences) firm up to a No. 50 pharma like Cephalon (a BioClinica client), most of them really know what they don't want to be. And they don't want to be like Big Pharma, which means that they want to outsource more, they want software-as-a-service, they don't want remnants of software lying around. They really want somebody who is going to take them through the research process, and when it's over, they want you to leave.

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