Advarra to acquire CTMS provider Forte, build research 'ecosystem' for streamlined operations

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/NatalyaBurova)
(Image: Getty/NatalyaBurova)

Related tags: advarra, Irb, CTMS

Advarra is set to acquire Forte in a bid to expand its offerings to include an integrated suite of standards-based trial management products and services – a platform for ‘an interconnected clinical research ecosystem,’ says CEO.

Advarra​, which provides institutional review board (IRB), institutional biosafety committee (IBC), and research quality and compliance consulting services, has announced its intent to acquire Forte.

Madison, WI-headquartered Forte provides clinical research technology solutions for academic medical centers, cancer centers, and health systems.

Advarra CEO Pat Donnelly said the main rationale for the acquisition was to extend Advarra’s lead regarding relationships with institutions. “Forte has dominant market share with cancer centers, academic medical centers, and health systems and the site-centric software and services they bring to the table are very complementary to Advarra’s offerings,”​ he told us.

Forte’s suite of solutions for clinical trial management and research administration includes OnCore, its flagship enterprise clinical trial management system (CTMS).

Said Donnelly, “Forte’s technology solutions provide an opportunity to offer an integrated suite of standards-based products and services that serve as an outstanding platform for an interconnected clinical research ecosystem, one that will interface central IRB data with sites, sponsors, and CROs for more streamlined operations across sites and the industry as a whole.”

Together, the combined organization will be supporting nearly 100,000 active protocol records with academic medical centers and health systems.

As per integration, Donnelly said Forte will in the immediate term continue operating under its own brand name due to its market recognition and customer loyalty.

According to the company, Forte has a 98% cumulative customer retention over 19 years and this year will have served 72% of NCI-designated cancer centers and 70% of the top 50 NIH-funded research institutions.

“Forte will be co-branded with the Advarra master brand, and then evolve as we familiarize Forte customers with Advarra and reinforce that the Forte ways of service excellence, collaborative community development, and market-leading standards-based products and services will continue under Advarra management,”​ explained Donnelly.

Advarra – acquired by the private equity firm Genstar Capital​ earlier this year – also acquired​ Quorum and its research and technology consulting division, Kinetiq, in March.

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