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PRA International acquires key software developer; expands eClinical solutions

By Alexandira Pesic , 23-May-2011
Last updated the 23-May-2011 at 12:14 GMT

US contract research organisation (CRO) PRA International claims it intends to “reshape how the industry manages trials” after acquiring Indian eClinical software developer, Kinship Technologies, for an undisclosed amount.

The deal means the North Carolinian company has obtained Kinship’s highly-regarded EXACT software, which allows users to extract, view, transform, analyse and report clinical data in a standardised format.

“The process of how data is converted and analysed in our industry has remained unchanged for over 20 years,” said Steve Powell, PRA’s senior VP of clinical informatics and late-phase services.

With the increasing prevalence of CDISC [Clinical Data Interchange Standards], we felt the need to significantly change the process to create a more efficient delivery model and provide our customers more validation and visibility in our work. When we found Kinship Technologies and implemented the EXACT system, we knew we had discovered a game changer.”

Kinship Technologies’ director, Giri Balasubramanian, said the companies had a shared vision for the future of clinical trials.

“PRA and Kinship share the same goals of transforming clinical trial processes by enhancing both the value and global presence of EXACT. We are committed to taking EXACT to the world’s leading pharmaceutical organisations using our companies’ expertise in product development.”

PRA said in order to enhance its service delivery it would be “integrating the Kinship team” to accelerate the development of future eClinical software solutions.

Revolutionary

PRA claims Kinship’s EXACT system provides a revolutionary method by which users can quickly construct reusable programs for data extraction, data transformation, statistical reporting and electronic publishing in a visual environment, and with limited code writing.

The company said it intended to use the system to simplify and automate the production of multiple CDISC standards, as well as TFLs (tables, figures and listings) in trial reports.

Jason Packwood, VP of PRA’s business solutions group, which directs systems and process improvement projects for the company, said he believed the EXACT system helped relieve some of the pressure on programmers.

“The EXACT system allows programmers and biostatisticians to spend more time delivering higher value services to our clients instead of spending time writing and validating programs that only extract, transform or layout clinical data,” he said.

Strategic initiative

According to PRA, the acquisition of Chennai-based Kinship, which has been operating in the pharmaceuticals and biotech sectors since its inception in 1996, helps further the company’s strategic initiative to establish a “centre of excellence” for the development of software products aimed at improving clinical trials.

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