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Newly private ERT to buy invivodata for ePRO boost

By Gareth Macdonald , 09-Jul-2012
Last updated the 10-Jul-2012 at 09:15 GMT

eResearch Technologies (ERT) says it will buy invivodata citing the electronic patient reported outcomes (ePRO) market as the key driver for the deal.

The acquisition – announced today – will see invivodata’s suite of ePRO solutions and consulting unit added to ERT’s cardiac safety services and respiratory solutions offering. Terms of the takeover have not been disclosed.

ERT CEO Jeff Litwin said: “By adding invivodata’s team of scientists and technology experts, we … will provide our joint clients with consistent, scientifically accurate Outcome Assessment data which will be accessible from one platform.”

ePRO is a big issue for contract research organisations (CRO) and the pharmaceutical companies they serve -  due primarily to regulatory increasing pressure for the inclusion of electronic clinical outcome assessment data (COA) in submissions.

This pressure has been a benefit for invivodata, which counts drugmaker UCB Pharma, CRO Quintiles and software systems developer Aris Global among the organisations for which it has provided ePRO support.

Outcomes research has also been a focus for ERT in recent years. In 2011 it announced a number of 'top tier' ePRO contracts with big pharma firms , which it said had made a positive contribution to its revenues. 

ERT goes private

News of the deal follows just a few days after private equity group Genstar Capital completed its acquisition of $400m ERT , in a deal that took the health outcomes services firm private.

Genstar managing director Robert Weltman said: "ERT is already the global leader in its sector yet we believe the company can benefit from our expertise in the pharmaceuticals industry to create positive change that will drive operations at an increased pace.”

"This is a sector we know well, and the added strength of our operating partners and strategic advisory board will help build ERT into a stronger independent platform company."