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BT and U.S. Company Make Clinical Trials Breakthrough

BT and Boston-based Phase Forward have teamed to pioneer an Internet solution that will quicken the pace of the pharmaceuticals industry's clinical trials process, the two companies announced Monday.

Phase Forward's Web-based solution InForm, which enables access to authorised users from anywhere in the world, will be the basis for the new service. In this instance it will provide trial sponsors with real-time, quality controlled views of all their trial data -- eradicating the traditional paper trail and reducing time to market.

"The pharmaceutical industry has long needed a data system which can keep pace with the productivity pressures of drug development and so boost the product launch rate from a typical 0.5 per year to the 4-5 per year that analysts suggest is the requirement to sustain shareholder value," said Tony Kane, BT's business manager for pharmaceuticals.

"The paper-based reporting of the clinical trials process is no longer adequate or appropriate for today's fast-moving trials environment - and that is where our proposition will revolutionise this marketplace," added Kane.

"This is the first step for BT in a major push that will see us work with leading partners across the clinical trials industry to provide a truly one stop shop for end to end data solutions."

Paul Bleicher, chairman and chief scientific officer of Phase Forward, was equally enthusiastic about the deal.

"This exciting and powerful partnership with BT will help establish the Web as the primary method of data capture for clinical trials in Europe," he said.

"From trial participant to drug manufacturer, the benefits of BT and Phase Forward's XML standards-based Internet solution are clearly apparent: eliminate the average 15 week data delay at the completion of a clinical trial, improve project management and reduce costs."

"Offering a real-time data resource, this proposition will change the way clinical trials are conducted," concluded Dr. Bleicher.