Medidata unveils Sanofi deal as it looks to recover from rocky April

Having already been hit by the March selloff of biotech and tech shares, Medidata's ($MDSO) stock sunk lower still last week after first-quarter results disappointed Wall Street. This week the eClinical provider had better news, with Sanofi ($SNY) signing up to use its risk-based monitoring technology.

Medidata President Glen de Vries--courtesy of Medidata

The news did nothing for Medidata's stock--which slid 7% in the two days following the release--but is an indication the company is having some success at selling new technologies to existing clients. With regulators supporting risk-based monitoring and the industry looking to it to cut trial costs, Medidata's technology could give it a new source of revenue. Medidata needs such sales to continue growing the business quickly now that the market for electronic data capture systems, like its Rave technology, is maturing.

Sanofi signed up to use Rave and other Medidata tools in 2012 and has now added the risk-based monitoring technology, Rave TSDV, to its order. The risk-based monitoring market is still in its infancy but could gather pace now that it has the backing of Big Pharma consortium TransCelerate BioPharma and other groups. "Sanofi is an early adopter of risk-based monitoring practices and has been quick to implement TransCelerate's recommendations," Medidata President Glen de Vries said in a statement.

The path taken by Sanofi, in which it started out using Rave and then added other products, is one Medidata is trying to take other clients along. More than half its customers now use more than one product, and management reports it is trying to negotiate deals in which clients would sign up for its whole cloud-based clinical platform. Such deals are part of why Medidata thinks it can hit its long-term sales growth target of 25% and justify its stock's high price-to-earnings ratio.

- read the release

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