ERT's Acquisition of PHT

Applied Clinical Trials

ERT’s announcement of its intention to acquire PHT makes more than sense. And when speaking with the companies’ CEOs, Jim Corrigan and Philip Lee respectively, the potential for success is greater than any challenges the current clinical trials market could throw their way.

ERT’s announcement of its intention to acquire PHT makes more than sense. And when speaking with the companies’ CEOs, Jim Corrigan and Philip Lee respectively, the potential for success is greater than any challenges the current clinical trials market could throw their way.

 

For example, as an ePRO/eCOA provider since 1994, Lee says that their major competitor remains [wait for it….] paper. In a world where EDC finally reached a tipping point slightly less than a few years ago, ePRO data collection hovers in the 40% to 50% range. Now Lee says that number is not necessarily a one-to-one of ePRO adoption, it could be relative to the increase of trials requiring patient-related data collection regarding Quality of Life (QoL) information.

 

Corrigan told Applied Clinical Trials that the two have been discussing the potential acquisition for eight to nine months. Having acquired ePRO-provider invivodata in July 2012, ERT gained increased foothold in patient and clinician data collection. Most recently, out of the former invivodata group, ERT’s electronic Suicide Risk Assessment (SRA) system was chosen by New Jersey’s Youth Suicide Prevention Project to be used to identify at-risk youth at the high-school and college grade levels.

 

And yes, that is not a clinical trial initiative, but speaks to a changing industry and a future that both Corrigan and Lee embrace.

 

That future is awareness that clinical trials and healthcare technology are very similar-just different end goals. That the term mobile health, which may have more resonance in the healthcare industry, is the same “mobile health” technologies-BYOD, devices, internet-that both ERT and PHT have been delivering for quite some time. Both companies are sponsors at next months MCT Congress in the United Kingdom, with MCT meaning mobile technologies in clinical trials. “The wearables explosion has expanded the definition of what mobile really means, where two years ago we didn’t even talk about wearables,” observed Corrigan.

 

But what is driving the mobile health tech world? The focus is on the patient’s importance in healthcare. And in clinical trials, based on what the FDA and EMA say-as well as payers-is that data needs to inform patient experience and patient differentiation on product labeling.

 

Being focused on accurate patient data is something that ERT and PHT already do. Lee said that PHT has had incredible growth in the past two years. Just last week, it announced its suite of patient engagement apps to aid in retention and compliance of clinical trial participants. Lee sees by joining ERT, the company can offer greater scale to more quickly get solutions to clients. In addition, there is little client crossover between ERT and PHT in the ePRO/eCOA area. In addition, Lee sees great opportunity to reach the cardiac and respiratory market, which is one of ERT’s strongholds.

 

But while the company’s will operate as separate entities until the deal is finalized, they are still joined by a unified vision.  Corrigan said, “We both recognize that the COA market in total is one of the most transformational piece in the space we currently work.” And Corrigan says that both ERT and PHT understand the value of efficiency and effectiveness in the software-enable solutions they provide.