Morrisville, N.C.-based eClinical company etrials reported that John Cline, founder and long time chief executive officer of the company, has resigned his post effective immediately in order to pursue other "entrepreneurial endeavors." He will, however, remain a member of the board of directors.
In 1999, Cline began the electronic paper diaries company Expidata, which was soon acquired by etrials (then PharmaCentric). The company -- along with most other eClinical companies in the space -- struggled through the early days of the electronic data capture marketplace.
As a thought leader in the clinical trials industry, Cline championed the value of paperless trials and helped usher in the modern EDC landscape we see today. In February 2006, etrials merged with CEA Acquisition Corp., a specified purpose acquisition company, changed its name to etrials Worldwide and began trading on the Nasdaq National Market. The merger gave the company a total of $20.5 million in cash.
"I am extremely proud and honored to have led our great employees from a small North Carolina start-up software firm to a top-tier, publicly-held global eClinical solutions company. As I move on to other entrepreneurial endeavors, I remain committed to etrials and support this change in management as a step forward in building a leading eClinical software solutions company," said Cline.
Last week ,etrials reported first quarter net services revenue jumped 51% to $4.1 million, compared with the same quarter a year ago. The company reported a loss of $0.9 million. In the first quarter of 2006, etrials reported a similar loss of $1 million. The company reported its gross margins improved to 47% compared with 40% the previous year.
It also reported a backlog of business of $19.8 million compared with $17.7 million at the end of 2006 and $24.8 million at the end of the first quarter of 2006. etrials reiterated that it expects new project bookings in 2007 will be up 40% to 50% over last year to $25 to $28 million.
“Our balance sheet remains strong, and we are well positioned to capitalize on the accelerating move towards electronic clinical software and services. We continue to believe 2007 will be a year of significant growth in new project bookings for etrials,” said Cline.
etrials has named Eugene "Chip" Jennings as the company's new president and CEO. Just prior to this position, Jennings was the senior corporate vice president of SHPS, a private healthcare management tools and resources company based in Kentucky.