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Oracle announced today that it has agreed to acquire Phase Forward, a leading provider of applications for life sciences companies and healthcare providers, through a cash merger for $17.00 per share, or approximately $685 million.

Phase Forward’s SaaS-based Integrated Clinical Research Suite manages clinical development and safety processes from Phase 1 clinical trials through regulatory submission and post-approval monitoring. Adding complementary assets to Oracle Health Sciences, 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. The acquisition of Phase Forward is consistent with Oracle’s strategy to provide mission-critical applications for key industries.

Phase Forward management and employees are expected to join Oracle as part of the Oracle Health Sciences Global Business Unit. The transaction is subject to stockholder and regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in mid 2010.

“The life sciences and healthcare industries are converging as they seek to control costs while accelerating patient-centered innovation,” said Neil de Crescenzo, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Health Sciences. “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.”

“Deployed in over 10,000 clinical trials, Phase Forward’s software has been used successfully by hundreds of customers to accelerate innovation in drug development and patient care delivery,” said Bob Weiler, Chairman, President and CEO, Phase Forward. “We look forward to combining our complementary wealth of experience with Oracle Health Sciences.”

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