The deal is expected to close in June, whereupon California-based Relsys will be rolled into Oracle’s Health Sciences global business unit which was set up last summer as part of a concerted effort by the company to target the pharmaceutical sector.
Through this acquisition, Oracle says it hopes to offer what it claims will be the only suite of software applications on the market that supports end-to-end drug safety processes across clinical development, post-market surveillance and patient care.
“The health sciences industry is increasing investments in software that provide greater transparency into drug safety and help improve the overall safety of therapies,” said Neil de Crescenzo, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Health Sciences.
Just ahead of the Oracle announcement Relsys announced the introduction of a new generation (version 5.0) of its Argus Safety Suite software, which combines pharmacovigilance monitoring (Argus Safety) with a risk management package (Argus Perceptive).
The Safety package is a signal detection tool designed to pick up adverse events in the marketplace, while Perceptive provides a framework to transform that data into “useful and actionable information,” according to Relsys.
Bruce Palsulich, the firm’s chief innovation and strategy officer, said that increasing regulatory scrutiny and greater physician/consumer awareness have led directly to a record number of adverse events reported to regulators.
“In fact, in the first quarter of 2008, the FDA received a record number of adverse event reports, 82 per cent of which originated from manufacturers.”
Pharma companies are struggling to meet this burden and are increasingly looking to commercial drug safety databases to help manage their regulatory requirements, he said.