Oracle to buy drug-trial software company Phase Forward for $685 million

Friday, April 16, 2010

Oracle to buy Phase Forward for $685 million

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. — Oracle Corp. has agreed to buy Phase Forward Inc., which makes software used to manage clinical drug trials, for $685 million, the companies said Friday.

Oracle, the leading maker of database software, plans to merge Waltham, Mass.-based Phase Forward into its Health Sciences unit. The combination will help researchers, physicians, regulators and patients share and access drug data, the companies said.

Oracle is paying $17 per share in cash, 30 percent more than Thursday’s $13.08 closing price for Phase Forward’s stock. Phase Forward’s shares rose $3.72, or 28.4 percent, to close at $16.80 Friday.

Oracle shares fell 25 cents to $25.95.

The deal announced Friday is expected to close in the middle of the year.

Phase Forward’s software has been used in more than 10,000 clinical trials, it says. Customers include AstraZeneca PLC, Boston Scientific Corp., Eli Lilly & Co. and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Oracle’s last major acquisition was that of software and server maker Sun Microsystems Inc., for $7.4 billion. It closed in January. Oracle is based in Redwood Shores, Calif.

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