IBM and PhaseForward Offer an Rx for Clinical Trials

Collaboration to help drug makers get drugs to market faster

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ARMONK, NY & WALTHAM, MA - 06 Dec 2001: IBM and Phase Forward Incorporated teamed up today to offer solutions to help drug makers around the world cut years and millions of dollars from the development cycle of new lifesaving medicines.

Through the global agreement, IBM and Phase Forward will collaborate on solutions that automate the clinical trial process of testing and reporting on the safety and effectiveness of new drug targets. Getting a new drug to market can cost as much as $500 million and take to up to 15 years. Nearly half of the time is expended on clinical trials.

Data from more than 95% of the thousands of clinical trials conducted annually are captured using a pen-and-paper approach, which often results in mistakes. Today's announcement couples Phase Forward's Internet-based solutions with IBM's hosting and consulting services to automate the process -- from clinicians entering patient data via a Web browser to electronic report submissions to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"The entire process of bringing new drugs to the market is a study of contrasts -- while advanced technologies are being deployed for drug discovery, most clinical trials are recorded on paper," said Dr. Caroline Kovac, general manager of IBM Life Sciences. "This is an area that is ripe for e-business. Phase Forward is the market leader in Web-based applications for clinical trials. By working together, we can bring the clinical trial process into the 21st century and enable drug makers to get needed treatments to patients faster."

Through the agreement, IBM broadens its services offerings for the fast-growing life sciences community into a new area -- clinical trials. At the same time, Phase Forward strengthens its position as a leading provider of end-to-end solutions that help to accelerate pharmaceutical development.

IBM will provide a range of services to Phase Forward, which employs computer technology for data capture, clinical research record keeping, patient tracking and reporting. Beginning initially with hosting, these services will be augmented as needed for global support in such areas as data security to drug companies and health care providers.

"Drug companies are spending an estimated $20 billion a year on clinical trials," said Shiv Tasker, president and CEO of Phase Forward. "Both IBM and Phase Forward share a vision of improving the future of clinical development, and we bring a wealth of experience that will translate into significant value for our customers. At the end of the day, this agreement is about improving productivity and accuracy, and getting new drugs to the market faster. IBM is a great complement to our business because of its strength in providing global, secure infrastructures to customers, superior technology, and unmatched implementation experience."

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