Phase Forward Incorporated (PFWD) announced that it will be acquired by software and hardware giant Oracle Corp. (ORCL) for $17.00 per share in cash, or approximately $685 million.

Phase Forward provides software products, services and hosted solutions for use in global clinical trials and drug safety monitoring activities that assist clients in improving the efficiency of their clinical trials.

The purchase price of $17.00 represents a premium of approximately 30% over Phase Forward’s closing price of $13.08 on April 15, 2010. The transaction is subject to stockholder and regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in mid-2010.

Management at Oracle believes that its should benefit from Phase Forward’s Software as a Service (SaaS)-based Integrated Clinical Research Suite, which manages clinical development and safety processes from Phase 1 clinical trials through regulatory submission and post-approval monitoring.

To control costs, the life sciences and health care industries continue to converge. The acquisition will add complementary assets to Oracle Health Sciences. Phase Forward management and employees are expected to join Oracle as a part of the Oracle Health Sciences Global Business Unit.

The combination is expected to enable researchers, clinical development professionals, physicians, regulators and patients to capture, contribute, access and share data more effectively and securely.
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