Clinical IT outfit upsizes as Big Pharma customers downsize

BioClinica ($BIOC) has plans to hire 55 people this year as the provider of clinical trials software and imaging services scales up its operation, which serves companies--such as Pfizer ($PFE)--that are trimming their ranks, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Newtown, PA-based BioClinica has been buying up clinical trials software providers over the past several years, capitalizing on the digitization of clinical data that used to be managed with paper-based systems. And part of its business serves drug developers that outsource the management of images from clinical trials to BioClinica, saving those companies the expense of having to do the work with their own staffs.

"Big Pharma is changing, and small pharma comes and goes," Mark Weinstein, BioClinica's CEO, told the newspaper. "At any point in time, we're working with close to 200 companies. But what changed for everybody is the business model. That is the whole issue of sticking to your core competencies and outsourcing everything else. We're saying we have a low-cost alternative to what you used to do in-house, and we come and go as you need our services. Big Pharma has had monolithic organizations with thousands of people and now is saying, 'I want only hundreds of people, but I need the same services, so where do I go?'"

BioClinica has been among companies such as Oracle ($ORCL) and Medidata Solutions ($MDSO) that have scooped up smaller companies in the clinical trials software business, and all three companies are rivals in the rapidly growing market for clinical trial management system (CTMS) software products. CROs and drug companies are making use of the tools as well as they streamline clinical trials operations. Major drugmakers--including BioClinica's big customer Pfizer--have also axed jobs in R&D and handed the work to outsourcing partners to trim expenses.

- read the Inquirer's article