Oracle to snap up clinical study software-maker ClearTrial

Oracle ($ORCL) has struck a new buyout deal in the growing market for clinical trials software. The tech giant has an agreement to gobble up privately held ClearTrial, which has made its mark in the biopharma world with software that enables drug and device developers to forecast budgets and other operational elements of clinical investigations.

Oracle and ClearTrial aren't saying what the financial terms of the deal are.

ClearTrial, a FierceBiotech IT company to watch in 2011, has been building momentum over recent years with scores of drugmakers such as Abbott Labs ($ABT), AstraZeneca ($AZN) and Sanofi ($SNY) buying its software. Those companies are combating the rising costs of clinical development, and ClearTrial's software has algorithms and built-in intelligence that enable trial planners to more accurately estimate study costs than they previously could.

Neil de Crescenzo, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Health Sciences, stated: "Adding ClearTrial to the Oracle Health Sciences Cloud will help our customers streamline the clinical development process and help them bring therapies to market with greater predictability and at lower costs."

Oracle in 2010 bought Phase Forward, which was one of the most successful players in electronic data capture (EDC), which helped biopharma and device outfits abandon paper-based methods of managing trials data. Yet neither Phase Forward nor Oracle have the financial-forecasting tech that ClearTrial offers.

Oracle's buyout of ClearTrial is expected to close in the first half of this year, PC World reported.

- here's the release
- see PC World's report

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