China, low-cost markets lead future eClinical tech growth

Providers of clinical trials tech have sought overseas partnerships as emerging and low-cost markets play larger roles in drug and device development. With more clinical trials outsourced overseas, according to a new study, China and the rest of Asia-Pacific territories, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa are expected to be the fastest-growing markets for electronic clinical trials (eClinical) technology.

Global Industry Analysts projected the eClinical market to hit $1.37 billion by 2018, with a 16.6% compounded annual rate during the years studied in emerging areas of clinical trials activity. In the group's study, analysts found that eClinical tech has spread to the fast-growing overseas areas of drug development as CROs have set up operations there and the quality of data out of those regions has improved. And the findings are further evidence that places such as China and Brazil are raising their profiles in the global biopharma game.

On the tech side, the analysis points out that drives toward better productivity in drug development bode well for eClinical tools. Despite some unhappiness about electronic data capture (EDC) cited in the report, it found that eClinical tech on the whole fosters efficiency and enables rapid decision-making with real-time analyses of clinical data. Also, clinical trial management systems (CTMS) have enabled CROs and sponsors to manage multiple trials with a single tool. Yet the lack of coordination among vendors' products remains a hurdle.

Many eClinical vendors have pushed platforms that bundle together eClinical software to make using EDC, CTMS and other technologies more efficient. Some of those players include BioClinica ($BIOC), Medidata ($MDSO) and Merge Healthcare ($MRGE), all of which FierceBiotechIT chatted with last month at the DIA annual meeting in Philadelphia.

- here's the release
- see the Pharma Times article