UK contract research organisation (CRO) Chiltern has penned two eClinical deals with two electronic data capture (EDC) companies last month. The firm signed an agreement with fellow British firm ClinPhone to implement the ClinPhone EDC software system to support its global clinical trials programmes. ClinPhone's software is a hybrid system that combines the functionality of paper data entry (PDE) with the flexibility of EDC. Chiltern said it plans to use the software primarily for management of electronic and paper trials. This deal came just a day after Chiltern formed a partnership with eClinical specialist Medidata Solutions under which Medidata will provide Chiltern with the tools and training to manage its Phase I-IV clinical development and late phase programmes. Chiltern is an early adopter of EDC and was looking to expand its services. After a review of the leading EDC vendors, it decided to pick Medidata's Rave solution, the companies said. "We selected Medidata Rave since it is the leading EDC solution for ease of use and implementation. Rave has received an outstanding response from our users," said Glenn Kerkhof, Chiltern's CEO. The two companies have formed their collaboration through Medidata's "ASPire to Win" programme - a non-exclusive application service provider (ASP) partnership and business model. The programme will allow Chiltern to meet sponsor demand for Medidata Rave and offer the platform in-house. Meanwhile, ClinPhone has launched a new ready-made solution for randomisation and trial supply management in response to a perceived gap in the market. The company announced last month the creation of ClinPhone Compact, a new service specifically created to meet the needs of many conventional study designs. By configuring a ready-made application, the new system allows a speedy and cost-effective development of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Interactive Web Response (IWR) solutions for randomisation and trial supply management, the company said. "We believe that our customers will benefit from the accelerated timelines and increased cost-effectiveness that Compact offers," said Dr Bill Byrom, vice president of Product Management at ClinPhone. US-based eClinical firm ClearTrial has announced the launch of its new support website for clinical trial software customers. Dubbed the ClearTrial Customer Centre, it provides a single source for the company's customers to find training, documentation, advice and tips on how to improve their clinical trial budgeting, resource planning and outsourcing operations using the ClearTrial software. "Consistent with the entire ClearTrial experience, the Customer Center has a clean, fast, easy-to-use interface that allows our customers to find the information they need quickly and easily," said Mike Soenen, managing partner at ClearTrial, during the Drug Information Association (DIA) conference last month in Atlanta. In other eClinical news, Phase Forward has released a next-generation product designed to help pharma firms conduct their clinical trials more efficiently. Called Central Designer, the product "surpasses the capabilities of the current generation of design tools", according to the company who claims that the key differentiatior is the system's ability to quickly design and review complex studies in an easy-to-view graphical layout. "Many life sciences companies are seeking ways to shorten the EDC design-and-build process to expedite trial start dates," said Bob Weiler, president and CEO of Phase Forward. "The Central Designer product addresses this challenge by providing an environment that streamlines the design process, while making it easier to apply industry standards to clinical trials."