Phase Forward Acquires IRT Provider Clarix
Waltham, Mass.-based eClinical technology company Phase Forward has acquired Clarix, a privately held provider of Web-integrated interactive response technology (IRT) based in Radnor, Pa., for $40 million in cash.
Clarix’s IRT is used for subject randomization, predictive medication inventory management, and operational management and reporting in clinical trials. Founded in 2002, the company has more than 45,000 users in 62 countries.
In 2007, Clarix generated approximately $2.7 million in revenue, but Phase Forward expects to see that number jump to almost $6.3 million for the full year 2008 on a standalone basis.
Clarix’s 85 existing employees will continue to operate from its Radnor, Pa., headquarters, as well as offices in Europe. That employee base is expected to grow significantly by the end of 2008, Martin Young, Phase Forward’s vice president of corporate development, told CWWeekly. Clarix teams will likely be added to existing Phase Forward locations through the UK, France, Japan, and Asia Pacific.
The acquisition, announced Sept. 5, enables Phase Forward to be a one-stop provider of IRT and electronic data capture (EDC) technologies, something Phase Forward sponsor customers have been requesting more frequently.
“As they do more and more EDC, they’re asking for consolidation of vendors. They want to deal with one company. Multiple contracts, multiple project managers, and lots of different help desks—they’ve been asking can we consolidate and provide more of the solution for them,” Young said.
According to Young, Clarix is the only company that offers, in a single, unified solution, Web technology with an interactive voice response system interface that is traditionally used for clinical trials. “This is the first of the next generation of these technologies that basically uses theWeb or unifies aWeb interface with the phone, so you get both,” Young said. “It was the technology that was a big difference for us.”
In a conference call Friday morning, Phase Forward president and CEO BobWeiler told investors that he believes the Clarix acquisition can help make Phase Forward the IRT market leader, eventually surpassing ClinPhone, which held a 35% market share when it was bought by contract research organization Parexel in August.
“The experience we’ve gained integrating with over 10 different IRT providers across more than 100 trials has convinced us that Clarix’s advanced technology platform, high levels of customer satisfaction and rapidly growing user base set it apart as pioneering a new direction in the industry,”Weiler said in a company release. “We believe the combination of Clarix IRT and Phase Forward’s marketleading InForm EDC solution and Empirica™ Safety Suite will represent the next generation of eClinical innovation.”
Phase Forward executives estimate that the acquisition of Clarix’s technology will contribute approximately $2.7 million in revenue to Phase Forward’s results for the remaining four months of 2008, and will add between $13 and $15 million in non-GAAP revenue during 2009.
“[Clarix] is demonstrating pretty rapid growth—they’re more than doubling revenues from last year to this year, so we see that continuing through next year and beyond,” Young said. “We think it will have a strong financial impact moving forward.”