Medidata swoops on medical imaging player Intelemage


Medidata ($MDSO) has opened its M&A checkbook for the fourth time in its history. The company that prompted the eClinical powerhouse to make one of its infrequent forays into the M&A arena is Intelemage, a provider of medical image sharing technology.

Once the acquisition, the value of which is undisclosed, closes in the second quarter, Medidata will build Intelemage's technology into its cloud-based clinical trial platform. In doing so, Medidata will, for the first time, be able to help customers manage the images they generate in clinical trials, as well as handle the other types of data on which it has built its business to date. This branching out is unlikely to have a significant near-term impact on Medidata--Citi Analyst Garen Sarafian estimates Intelemage has 1% of its annual sales--but it opens up the sizable imaging sector to the company.

"The addition of medical imaging into Rave puts more of the clinical trial process within Medidata's platform increasing its functionality, which should serve to enhance its pricing power," Sarafian wrote in a note to investors. Buying Intelemage also positions Medidata to up its cross selling to medical device companies, 14 of the top 15 of which the acquired company lists as clients, while also setting it up to capitalize on the evolution of the imaging sector. "As the mobile technology market grows, the use of imaging biomarkers should grow," Sarafian wrote.

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With the significance of imaging to the assessment of medical interventions in clinical trials tipped to grow, the acquisition provides Medidata with a starting point from which to deliver on its ambition to meet all of the needs of its customers. This ambition has been behind Medidata's previous takeovers. In 2014, the last time Medidata made an acquisition, the company added to its risk-based monitoring system by incorporating Patient Profiles into its business. Back in 2011, clinical trial management system player Clinical Force was the target. 

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