Icon and Medidata unite to give patients a louder voice in clinical trials

CRO magnate Icon ($ICLR) and and eClinical outfit Medidata ($MDSO) are pooling their resources to offer a combined platform for patient-reported outcomes in clinical trials, touting their technology as faster and more effective in surveying participants.

Under the partnership, Medidata brings its Patient Cloud technology, a mobile app that integrates patient questionnaires with a diary function, freeing sponsors from setting up custom software for each study. Icon will roll its ready-to-use, validated patient surveys into Medidata's platform, resulting in a seamless process for collecting electronic patient-reported outcomes (ePROs), the companies said.

"Their innovative technology, together with Icon's market-leading expertise, creates a solution that will help customers reduce study timelines and makes it easier for patients to record their experiences," Executive Vice President Dermot Kenny said in a statement.

Beyond savings and efficiency, the two companies hope their collaboration will broaden the types of studies that use ePROs, encouraging sponsors to poll patients by simplifying the process.

The deal dovetails with Icon's ongoing efforts to stand out among the world's largest CROs by investing in trial technology. Earlier this year, the company bought Aptiv Solutions for $143.5 million to expand its capacity in adaptive trials. Icon has also poured money and effort into its infrastructure, spending $52 million to snag Cross Country Healthcare's functional service business last year.

Icon pulled in $376 million in revenue last quarter, a 12.5% jump, and the CRO is forecasting sales of up to $1.5 billion for 2014.

- read the announcement

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