Medidata chief calls company 'the cloud' for clinical data

With IT systems playing a role in the transformation of clinical research, Medidata Solutions ($MDSO) plans to invest big in R&D to stay on the cutting edge of the clinical trials software game. A major component of its strategy is to provide the industry with a platform on which other applications are used to manage trials data efficiently.

"We don't see any finish line where we'll be done with our platform. The idea is to always think of what people will need in the future and to invest in things that will be useful for those clinical trial processes. If you look at companies in a similar position to us, you'd see something like five percent revenue being put back into R&D," co-founder and President Glen de Vries explained in an interview with Bio-IT World. "We put more than 15 percent revenue back into R&D. We see so much change coming in managing the clinical development process that we want to make sure we stay on top of those future requirements."

Medidata has been one of the pioneers in providing hosted electronic data capture (EDC) and clinical data management system (CDMS) software, and de Vries even told the magazine "we are the cloud for clinical data." In recent years, a bevy of other software developers have joined Medidata's partner network to allow users of Medidata's Rave to seamlessly use those other outfits' applications, positioning Medidata's technology as a platform for the industry. Yet the company has clearly had to reinvest a sizable amount of its revenue to stay on top of its game and compete with rivals such as Oracle/Phase Forward and droves of smaller players.

That said, Medidata has looked to expand its own offerings for the clinical research market, purchasing Clinical Force last year for its clinical trial management system (CTMS) product. And a major emphasis at the company, according to de Vries, is to catch the wave of clinical development outsourcing, helping CROs differentiate themselves with IT systems that help them run trials more efficiently. With drug companies/sponsors outsourcing more trials management work, Medidata has been working to build its CRO customer base.

- get more in the Bio-IT World interview