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Press Releases–2003


Thomson CenterWatch and NCERx Launch New Service Providing Clinical Trial Invitations to Research Volunteers

BOSTON, MA–June 12, 2003–Thomson CenterWatch, a part of The Thomson Corporation (TSX: TOC; NYSE: TOC), and NCERx announced today the launch of Volunteers Direct Network, a collaborative Internet-based service for patients interested in participating in clinical research studies. The new service (www.volunteersdirect.net) reaches a large and highly motivated group of patients with targeted invitations for them to participate in disease-specific clinical trials. Along with improving patient access to clinical trial information, the new service assists clinical research professionals in augmenting their subject recruitment efforts.

The Volunteers Direct Network provides access to CenterWatch clinical trial listings on the NCERx lifestyle and healthcare network. At this time, the NCERx network receives more than 10 million monthly visitors seeking health specific information. The proprietary NCERx platform includes protocol-specific filtration, messaging, and online screening components. Research sponsors, CROs and investigative sites can utilize this large and growing network to direct prospective volunteers to newly initiated and ongoing clinical trial descriptions maintained by CenterWatch. Use of the Volunteers Direct Network is available exclusively to clinical research professionals through CenterWatch.

"During the past nine years, the CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service™ has become an important source of published clinical trial information for prospective study volunteers. This collaboration leverages NCERx’s sophistication and vast network giving us the ability to send highly targeted invitations to a large and growing global base of self-referred study volunteers. As a result, the Volunteers Direct Network greatly expands our reach and targets those patients who are eager to participate in appropriate clinical trials," said Ken Getz, president and publisher of CenterWatch.

"Looking at the evolution of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry over the next five years, we see the rate of discovery accelerating the need for ever more targeted candidates for trials of increasingly specialized compounds and chemical entities," said Colin Lucas-Mudd, president and chief executive officer of NCERx. "We are delighted to be collaborating with CenterWatch, the clinical trial market leader. The Volunteers Direct Network is a first step in a collaboration that addresses clinical trial recruitment needs in this dynamic research environment."

Thomson CenterWatch
With a specific focus on the clinical trials industry, CenterWatch (www.centerwatch.com) is a Boston-based publishing and information services company that provides business journalism, reference databases, accredited training manuals, original research & analysis, and market intelligence services to assist organizations in managing and implementing clinical research strategies and operational initiatives. Used by several hundred clinical research sponsors, The CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service™ receives more than 900,000 unique visitors every month–the majority of which are patients–looking to identify clinical trials and to learn about investigational medical treatments. CenterWatch is a business of The Thomson Corporation (www.thomson.com). The Thomson Corporation, with 2002 revenues of $7.8 billion, is a global leader in providing integrated information solutions to business and professional customers. Thomson provides value-added information, software tools and applications to more than 20 million users in the fields of law, tax, accounting, financial services, higher education, reference information, corporate training and assessment, scientific research and healthcare. The Corporation's common shares are listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges (TSX: TOC; NYSE: TOC).

About NCERx
NCERx (www.ncerx.com) is a San Diego–and London–based healthcare information technology company providing a unified solution for clinical trial recruitment, consumer messaging and market research needs to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector. The Company’s proprietary data aggregation and content platform comprises over 850 specialized web sites and multiple tool-sets that are applied to provide timely information and build relationships with clinical trial candidates and healthcare consumers. NCERx technologies leverage both Web-based and de-identified medical record databases to re-qualify, filter and communicate with opt-in clinical trial candidates, physicians and consumers. Integrated XML functionality and HIPAA compliant database systems reduce sponsor and center costs through seamless communication with advanced clinical trial technologies from third party vendors. Other exclusive healthcare and clinical trial agreements with NexCura®, to augment the clinical trial database, and printQuick®, to provide high-impact, immediate print technology, enhance the penetration, message impact and value of the extensive NCERx platform.

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