Merge Healthcare part of "virtual" lab for cancer trial

Merge Healthcare ($MRGE) is gaining more traction in its clinical software business. The Chicago-based company says that its clinical image management software will be used in an upcoming trial involving Omnicare Clinical Research.

Omnicare Clinical Research, a contract research outfit and unit of Omnicare ($OCR), plans to use Merge's clinical imaging management system (CIMS) along with its electronic data capture (EDC) software for an unnamed pharmaceutical company's global colorectal cancer trial. The trial aims to collect 2,750 exams from 550 patients in 40 locations during a five-year period, Merge said in a release.

Merge's CIMS is software is designed to enable clinical images to be managed and stored, making those images easily accessible to investigators for analysis. For the colorectal cancer trial, Omnicare is building a "virtual imaging core lab solution" that will also include image transfer technology and radiology knowhow from AG Mednet and Intrinsic Imaging, respectively, according to Merge.

Merge, which also makes software for healthcare providers, has been making some inroads in the clinical trials software arena. In addition to its Omnicare partnership, Merge in December 2010 acquired Nancy, France-based KIKA Medical International Co., a long-time provider of EDC software for clinical studies.

"The role of imaging in clinical trials is accelerating, and Merge CIMS leverages our core expertise in both imaging and clinical trials to bring this market needed workflow tools," Jeff Surges, Merge's CEO, said in statement. "We anticipate that this upcoming study will be the first of many joint projects with Omnicare."

- here's Merge's release

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