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First comes love, then comes marriage
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fl.óLittle more than a year after OmniComm Systems Inc. integrated its electronic data capture (EDC) solutions with the data capture systems of Logos Technologies to expand the use of EDC in Phase I to Phase IV clinical trials, OmniComm has made the partnership permanent by acquiring several of Logos' data collection modules.
The deal, announced in August, gives OmniComm the subject recruitment, subject screening and EDC modules of the newest version of Logos' ALPHADAS data collection technology suite. It also gives OmniComm contracts to older versions of the technology and four development employees. Specific financial details were not disclosed.
For the last year, ALPHADAS has been paired with OmniComm's TrialMaster trial management software in an interface that allows the companies' Phase I research customers to capture data directly from the patient's bedside, then export, archive and share the data in various reports and formats. But the technology's fate recently fell into limbo when its owner, U.K.-based Logos subsidiary Logos Technologies Ltd., was placed into insolvency. After 10 minutes of negotiating with the insolvency administrator, OmniComm purchased the company's EDC assets, says OmniComm CEO Stephen Johnson.
"We've been partners for a year, and we had a great honeymoon, and now we have a great marriage," Johnson says. "The synergies between the companies were fairly obvious from the get-go, so we decided to go the extra mile and acquire the EDC assets from the company."
The integration of Logos' software, which is used to collect clinical trial data gathered while conducting Phase I trials, and OmniComm's TrialMaster software, which is primarily used in later stage clinical trials, has given both companies' customers a product that covers all aspects of the Phase I process from subject recruitment and clinical workflow management to laboratory sample management, Johnson says.
"Probably the nicest thing about this acquisition is that both technologies are on the same Microsoft .NET framework," Johnson says. "This makes it very easy to move data back and forth between the two systems. From an informatics standpoint, customers who used Logos to capture information no longer have to transfer that information from Logos to a back-end system. Luckily, ALPHADAS' pioneers designed it to be integrated with another solution to process data. We have cut out a lot of those manual steps, which makes a lot less work for our customers."
Because only a small number of EDC companies specialize in the Phase I market, the acquisition represents an important addition to OmniComm's overall corporate growth strategy, Johnson says. The Phase I trial sector is among the fastest growing segments of the clinical research industry, according to market research firm Health Industry Insights, and the EDC market is forecasted to reach $120 million in 2010 in the Phase I sector alone.
Omnicomm currently counts two top 20 pharmas, one of the largest Phase I clinics in the world and one of the top 5 contract research organizations as its customers, and expects that large pharmas in particular will be a prime consumer of its new product, which is tentatively being called TrialMaster Phase I, Johnson says.
"The Phase I market is one we have always been comfortable with because we were born out of a Phase 1 unit at Mt Sinai," he says. "Phase I studies are very unique these days and have become very complex. Most traditional EDC companies cannot handle Phase 1 studies. Only a few companies can handle these types of 'seed and bleed' studies, where you must collect data up to the minute, or even the second, and analyze it."
The acquisition of Logos' EDC assets fits well with OmniComm's recent acquisition of eResearch Technology's data capture unit, Johnson adds.
"Some of the customers we acquired from Logos were also customers of eRT," he says. "Now, all of those customers are able to keep those services under one roof and get a much broader offering. In the long run, things will run much more smoothly for them because their projects will be handled by one vendor."
But OmniComm's growth plans do not stop there, Johnson adds. The company is in talks to acquire several other companies and expects to make another significant announcement before the end of this year. Ultimately, OmniComm's goal is to become a $100 million company, he says.
"A few months ago, we announced to the world that we're in acquisition mode," he says. "It's a buyer's market right now. Because of the economy, there are a lot of small companies with great technologies out there that can't make a go of it because funding sources are drying up. We're looking to buy technologies that are complementary to EDC in order to broaden our product and service offerings to our customers, and we have a great market to go out there and buy those technologies, rather than build them, which would take time and resources."
At press time, Logos Technologies Ltd. was scheduled for dissolution. Simon Kemp, the company's managing director, said in a statement that it looks forward to becoming a part of OmniComm.
"OmniComm's team of industry professionals was a key factor in our decision-making process," Kemp said. "We have worked closely with OmniComm in the past with several joint clients and see this as an opportunity to enhance and fully integrate the Logos products with OmniComm's eClinical solutions. Our clients, which include Top 10 Pharmaceutical, leading Academic and Clinical Research Organizations, will also benefit from working with a larger global company like OmniComm."