BBK Holdings announced this morning it will acquire the custom application development division of MEDL Holdings, a developer of mobile applications that has been a long-time partner and collaborator in BBK’s mobile application for patient and site engagement, My Clinical Study Buddy.
BBK Worldwide, which is part of BBK Holdings, said the division which will be known as MEDL Mobile and will remain in Fountain Valley, Calif. where the five-year-old company has about 25 employees.
MEDL Mobile is BBK Holding’s first major acquisition and comes exactly one month after it announced an investment of $3 million from a private, undisclosed investor and its two founders, Joan Bachenheimer and Bonnie Brescia. Both are founding principals who in 1983 formed the women-led company, which employs about 70.
Based in Needham, Mass., BBK Worldwide is a patient recruitment firm that helps biotechnology and medical device firms enroll patients for clinical trials. Through BBK Holdings, which will now include MEDL Mobile, it brings multiple communications, technology and marketing disciplines to the clinical research and patient engagement markets, along with continued mobile app development work in other industries.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, as the transaction still requires board approval and other customary closing conditions, BBK said in a press release.
“For us, communication is critically important as we focus on the clinical research enterprise and need to have a set of tools and resources available for customers,” said Brescia. “So we are looking at a continuum from drug research to marketing to customer feedback and back into research. There also is a moral imperative for patient advocacy engagements as people are looking for information. We have an obligation to get that information to them when they need it and not make it so difficult to find and access it.”
The MEDL Mobile team, she added, brings invaluable consumer engagement expertise to BBK, enabling its clients to have the tools required for optimal patient partnerships.
In addition to working with BBK, MEDL Mobile has developed mobile apps for the Apple iOS operating system, the Google Android platform and hundreds of apps for such clients as Kaiser Permanente, Medtronic, The New York Times, About.com and Telefonica. MEDL has also developed Hang w/ app, which connects people through live-streaming video and simultaneous chat, allowing anyone with an iPhone, iPad or Android device to broadcast live to many viewers around the world.
“As a pioneer in this space, we have seen the impact of mobile applications across every industry, from retail to entertainment,” Dave Swartz, MEDL president and CEO, said in a statement. “Bringing the power of the mobile experience to healthcare is particularly satisfying. We look forward to combining our experience in all things mobile with BBK’s deep expertise in healthcare and life sciences to further accelerate innovation in mHealth.”