PRA debuts a sweeping clinical trial operating system

PRA Health Sciences ($PRAH), a year removed from its $300 million IPO, unveiled an end-to-end technology platform that pools trial design, planning and monitoring in one place, touting its new offering as a major step forward for the CRO.

Called Predictivv, PRA's platform is a sort of clinical trial operating system, with applications for blueprinting studies, keeping tabs on sites and monitoring real-time data, the company said. The idea is to create a single portal for sponsors of global trials, allowing for easy access to the many overlapping processes in clinical development, CEO Colin Shannon said.

"As we enter a new era of clinical development led by ideas like adaptive trial design and risk-based monitoring, we recognized that existing clinical-trial management solutions did not support the real-time modifications of protocols and operational plans required by adaptive models and the high risks associated with managing this complexity," Shannon said in a statement.

PRA is planning to roll out new applications for the platform over the next year, starting with Predictivv Connect, a customizable software designed to help sponsors manage each stage of trial management. Coming soon are apps for site selection, patient recruitment and investigator communication, the company said.

Meanwhile, PRA is coming off a successful first quarter, moving through 2015 with its largest ever backlog. The CRO is expecting between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion on the year, good for roughly 10% annual growth at midpoint.

Today's PRA came to be thanks to KKR, which won a bidding war and picked up the CRO for $1.3 billion in 2013. A few months later, KKR paid an undisclosed sum for ReSearch Pharmaceutical Services and merged its two acquisitions. By year's end, the company had acquired CRI Lifetree to bolster its piecemeal CRO's early-stage capabilities, completing KKR's buy-and-merge plan.

- read the statement