The clinical trial technology sector could top $5B by 2018, report says

The slow seep of software into the running of clinical trials has accelerated in recent years as its reliability has been proven by pioneers and everyone has become increasingly desperate to boost productivity. After this period of growth, the eClinical market is on the cusp of becoming a $5 billion sector.

A new report by MarketsandMarkets tips the eClinical industry to pass the $5 billion mark by 2018. Strong demand for eClinical tools in Asia--parts of which have been slow to adopt such technologies--is driving the market toward the predicted valuation. The report forecasts an almost 20% compound annual growth rate in Asian sales from 2013 to 2018, compared to a global increase of 13.5%. Over the course of the 5 years Asia is expected to close the gap on the U.S. and Europe.

As of today, North America is the main market for clinical trial technologies, with three out of every 5 dollars invested in tools being spent in the region. Europe lags behind with a little more than one-quarter of the market. Uptake of some technologies--such as the electronic data capture (EDC) systems sold by Medidata ($MDSO) and Oracle ($ORCL)--is nearing saturation in both markets and neither has the clinical trial growth potential of Asia.

In these established markets vendors are looking to cross-sell technologies to grow sales. Instead of just pushing a single piece of technology, vendors are trying to tie biopharma companies to their ecosystem. In this model, EDC platforms are sold alongside and integrated with tools to handle other aspects of studies, such as clinical trial management systems (CTMS) and electronic clinical outcome assessments (eCOA).

- here's the press release