Oracle to buy Phase Forward for $685m

The company is to acquire the provider of data management solutions for $17 per share in cash.

Phase Forward management and employees are expected to join Oracle as part of the Oracle Health Sciences Global Business Unit. The combination is expected to enable researchers, clinical development professionals, physicians, regulators and patients to more effectively and securely capture, contribute, access and share data.

Oracle said that the acquisition of Phase Forward is consistent with its strategy to provide mission-critical applications for key industries.

Bob Weiler, chairman, president and CEO of Phase Forward, said: "Deployed in over 10,000 clinical trials, Phase Forward's software has been used by hundreds of customers to accelerate innovation in drug development and patient care delivery. We look forward to combine with Oracle Health Sciences."

Neil de Crescenzo, SVP and GM of Oracle Health Sciences, said: "The life sciences and healthcare industries are converging as they seek to control costs while accelerating patient-centered innovation. Phase Forward brings outstanding products and employees with significant expertise to Oracle that will help enable the delivery of personalized medicine and value-based healthcare."

However, the transaction is subject to stockholder and regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in mid-2010.