Oracle plans to acquire Phase Forward

REDWOOD SHORES, CA – California based software  company Oracle plans to acquire Phase Forward, a Waltham, Mass.-based maker of software applications for life sciences companies and healthcare providers.

The company will pay roughly $685 million – $17 per share – to merge publicly-owned Phase Forward with Oracle’s Health Sciences division.

Phase Forward’s software-as-as-service Integrated Clinical Research Suite manages clinical development and safety processes from Phase 1 clinical trials through regulatory submission and post-approval monitoring. Adding complementary assets to Oracle Health Sciences, the combination will allow researchers, clinical development professionals, physicians, regulators and patients to more effectively and securely capture, contribute, access and share data.

“The life sciences and healthcare industries are converging as they seek to control costs while accelerating patient-centered innovation,” said Neil de Crescenzo, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Health Sciences. “Phase Forward brings outstanding products and employees with significant expertise to Oracle that will help enable the delivery of personalized medicine and value-based healthcare.”

The deal is subject to stockholder and regulatory approval but is expected to close sometime in mid-2010.

“Deployed in over 10,000 clinical trials, Phase Forward’s software has been used successfully by hundreds of customers to accelerate innovation in drug development and patient care delivery,” added Bob Weiler, chairman, president and CEO of Phase Forward. “We look forward to combining our complementary wealth of experience with Oracle Health Sciences.”

Market observers were bullish on the acquisition Friday. “We believe this deal makes a lot of sense, as Oracle is a major player in the electronic data capture business, and combining the two companies should be a win/win,” wrote Piper Jaffray analysts in a report.