Greenphire, a technology firm that provides financial lifecycle management solutions for clinical trials, has entered an agreement with Thoma Bravo, a private equity outfit that focuses on software and technology buys. The deal is expected to wrap in the second quarter of 2021, pending regulatory approvals; financial details were not disclosed.
Greenphire CEO Jim Murphy discussed the deal with Outsourcing-Pharma, the milestones in the company’s 13-year history, and what the acquisition might mean for the future of the firm.
OSP: Could you tell us a little bit about Greenphire’s history, and how you’ve grown since your founding in 2008?
JM: Greenphire was founded with the idea that there was a better way to pay patients in clinical trials. That idea was part of a much broader vision which has since continued to evolve and gain market adoption.
Our team has been singularly focused on removing financial obstacles from clinical trial participation, ensuring that clinical research sites are equipped with tools that remove the administrative burden from daily operations.
Subsequent to the introduction of our flagship solution, ClinCard, (2008), Greenphire introduced eClinicalGPS (2011) – the industry’s leading site payment solution and ConneX (2014) – our global travel solution, a key component of Greenphire’s market-leading patient convenience suite). Most recently in 2020, we introduced our newest solution, EnvisiX, a clinical trial budget development and negotiation solution unlike anything else presently available in the market.
Greenphire has cemented its position as the leading global financial lifecycle management provider for clinical trials, delivering the most robust data and workflow automation from budgeting through payments and analysis to drive unprecedented business insight and smarter trials. Today our solutions are preferred by clinical research sites, sponsors, and contract research organizations (CROs) across the globe.
OSP: Please share how COVID-19 has impacted the clinical research field, and site/sponsor interest in the products and services Greenphire provides.
JM: During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw revolutionary changes in the speed of start-up and the utilization of hybrid trial clinical trial models. The pandemic underscored the importance of clinical trial technology solutions that enable greater research site effectiveness and better participant support. The flexibility enabled by technology has helped to improve accessibility to trials for more diverse populations.
Sponsors want to continue to deliver expedited clinical trials to bring new medicines and devices to market, faster. The only way to accomplish that is by modernizing the financial backbone of their clinical trial operations.
OSP: What does the infusion of funds from Thoma Bravo say about Greenphire’s offerings and capabilities?
JM: Greenphire has differentiated itself from other solution providers in the industry, functioning as a deep blend of fintech and clinical orientation, enabling the company to accommodate complex regional configuration needs and evolving regulatory demands.
Our acquisition by Thoma Bravo is further validation of our strategy and the unique value we provide our clients, particularly as pharmaceutical companies and CROs accelerate trends towards participant centricity in their clinical trials.
We will continue to focus on financial workflow automation and patient convenience in clinical trials on a global scale and look forward to building on our growth and success during this new chapter with Thoma Bravo.
OSP: Can you please share whatever details you’re able/willing to share about what you’re hoping and planning to do with the funding?
JM: The strategic investment from Thoma Bravo, will help us more aggressively advance our mission of improving the business operations of clinical trials through larger scale and more rapid innovation as well as broader global expansion. Future solutions and enhancements to our existing product suite will be announced at a later date.
OSP: It seems hard to believe, but the world is starting to seriously and broadly think about post-COVID life and work. How do you think that might affect the clinical trial industry and companies like Greenphire that support it with tech and services?
JM: While the world is re-emerging from the global pandemic, we believe that 2020 showed the industry that technology-enabled clinical trials are the way of the future. Sponsors have adapted, finding innovative ways to ensure trial continuity while ensuring the safety of patients and site staff.
As such, we believe that the clinical trial industry will double down on creating the opportunity to introduce hybrid trial supportive technologies within their clinical trials. We will see a continuation in offering participant flexibility, particularly around visit types, transportation provided, reimbursement methods, etc. The use of financial-oriented technology to drive efficiency, transparency, and connect disparate stakeholders across the global clinical trial ecosystem will only expand.
OSP: Do you have anything else to add about the investment, plans for the future, general thoughts about clinical research, etc?
JM: Greenphire is excited to begin this new chapter with Thoma Bravo, as we are headed towards our goals faster and with more force than ever before. That, coupled with the clinical trial industry’s increased willingness to adopt new technologies, will lead to very positive results.