The use of eClinical software in clinical trials is gaining in popularity with pharmaceutical, biotechnology and contract research organizations (CROs), as seen by the recent financial results of two major industry providers.
Etrials Worldwide, who offers a suite of technology-based tools including electronic data capture (EDC), electronic patient diaries, interactive voice response (IVRS) and reporting, has managed to grow its customer base to 38, up from 23 a year ago, and is now working with 114 clinical trials up from 102 in 2005.
Boosted by an 11 per cent revenue growth to $4.2m (€3.3m), the company moved into the black in the second quarter of this year, posting a profit of $60,746, as opposed to a loss of $101,627 in the same quarter last year.
Meanwhile, during the same quarter Datatrak, a technology company focused on global eClinical solutions, also witnessed growth in new business.
The firm added seven new customers during the second quarter, five of which were from its newly-formed relationship with Duke Medical Strategies' COResearch division, worth a total of $250,000.
Datatrak said it was also able to advance three of its existing customers - two CROs and one European pharmaceutical company - to standardise all their clinical trials on its Datatrak eClinical platform, as well as obtaining its first Datatrak eClinical contract with a new multi-billion dollar, top ten pharmaceutical company.
"These relationships represent the first time we have been selected as the standard platform for such organisations, which progresses beyond the traditional vendor-selection mode and they are indicators of future growth potential," said Jeffrey Green, president and CEO of Datatrak.
"The ability to unify all clinical trial data is without a doubt the main reason for these commitments."
Clients are increasingly implementing blocks of clinical trials at a time from their pipeline, explained Green.
Such a process saves in repetitive contracting efforts and likely contributes to enhanced development productivity, but only occurs when a single standard platform is chosen rather than bouncing from vendor to vendor, he said.
Although the company increased its revenue during the period by 30 per cent to $4.83m compared to the same quarter in 2006, it also slipped into the red, reporting a loss of $702,000, compared with a profit of $261,000 last year.
Costs associated with its $18m acquisition of technology company ClickFind in February, including $295,000 in severance charges related to reducing its staff by 10 employees and $345,000 in depreciation and amortisation costs were blamed.
However, until the acquisition, Datatrak only provided EDC software for clinical trials - its product suite did not contain the full range of components necessary to remain competitive in the evolving eClinical market.
The addition of ClickFind's software capabilities fulfilled the company's strategy of offering the "broadest multi-component eClinical capability in the clinical trials market," bringing new functionalities supporting EDC, traditional data management activities, IVRS, voice and web randomisation, medical coding, clinical trial management systems (CTMS), core laboratory digitised electrocardiograms and image processing; drug inventory management, electronic patient-recorded outcomes (ePRO) and workgroup collaboration and workflow management platforms.