ClearTrial--5 emerging eClinical firms to watch

ClearTrial--clinical trials operations software

We're living in a time when Wall Street isn't placing much or any value on clinical-stage assets, and drug companies are under extreme pressure to find ways to make their product trials run efficiently and on budget. It's a perfect storm for ClearTrial, which is emerging as a leader in clinical trials operations software to accurately forecast trial costs and durations as well as track the operational progress of the studies.

The Chicago-based firm, founded in 2004, has gained customers at many of the largest life sciences companies in the world--Abbott Labs, Merck and Roche, among them--since releasing its clinical trials planning software in January 2007. Yet the market response to the firm's software didn't take off immediately, Mike Soenen, ClearTrial's CEO, tells FierceBiotech IT. With factors such as the global recession playing in its favor, ClearTrial garnered a lot of interest in its products in 2008, and the company hasn't looked back since. Abbott Vascular used ClearTrial's software to plan a $130 million annual budget and finished the year within 1 percent of its target. 

Pharma companies have also been trying to find a way forward with lower profit margins than in years past as more key brands encounter generic competition. According to Soenen, ClearTrial's software routinely helps companies trim between 2 percent and 7 percent from the cost of clinical trials. That can mean a savings of more than $1 million dollars for some larger clinical investigations, and pharma companies have responded to this potential benefit.

"We saw this tsunami coming to the industry two years before it hit," Soenen says, "and that was the basis of the company."

ClearTrial, which is closely held, has encountered some comparisons with clinical trial management systems (CTMS), but Soenen points out those systems lack the life sciences financial planning capabilities built into his firm's software. The company is poised to continue growing if it can continue to differentiate itself from such products. Plus, the CEO says that the firm's main competition for its planning software is Excel or homegrown spreadsheets that companies use to plan trials.

ClearTrial--5 emerging eClinical firms to watch
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