Links 1/26: First Round-backed Jelli brings programmatic buying to radio; Comcast offering new business WiFi service

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Seeing OLED as the future for displays, LG bets big on new factory (PCWorld)

Comcast Gets Down to Business With WiFi (Multichannel News)

Fourth Annual University of Pennsylvania $10K Y-Prize Competition Grand Prize Winner is “Fermento” as Best of Penn-Owned Biomedical Engineering Concepts (PR Web)

Jelli, Software Provider For Programmatic Radio, Eyes Growth (MediaPost)
First Round Capital was an early backer.

Companies, start your (hybrid) clouds: Azure Stack's first beta is coming (PC World)

Bioclinica continues expansion under PE ownership, acquires Clinverse

Tom Paine

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Considerable change has occurred since New York-based PE firm JLL Partners acquired Doylestown-based clinical trial management system (CTMS) vendor Bioclinica in early 2013.

In its latest move announced last week, Bioclinica acquired Edison Ventures-backed Clinverse, which is based in North Carolina.

Bioclinica, which had been a publicly traded company, reported revenue of nearly $100 million in 2012, and was acquired by JLL for $ 123 million.

It was also merged with CoreLab Partners of Princeton when the acqusition closed. In 2014, it merged with California-based SYNARC. At that time, the combined company said it would be a leader in four specialized areas of outsourced CTMS:

  • medical imaging services that track the effectiveness of new drugs across multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, neurology and musculoskeletal.

  • an extensive worldwide network of research centers dedicated to recruiting patients for global trials.

  • state-of-the-art technology and consulting services to support the overall drug development process, as well as services to monitor the cardiac safety of compounds under development.

  • It also will offer central lab capabilities to analyze biological samples originating from clinical trials.

Bioclinica also made some smaller acquisitions in 2014-15, and one presumably reliable source reported 2014 revenue at over $200 million. At the end of 2014, long-time CEO Marc Weinsten departed, to be replaced by Dr. John Hubbard, who joined from Pfizer.

Last week, BioClinica announced it was acquiring Clinverse, a Durham, North Carolina-based provider of automated payment systems for clinical trial participants, as well as medical professionals making or receiving payments through involvement with trials. No terms were disclosed, and no financial data has been found for Clinverse.

New Jersey-based Edison Partners had led a $9.1 million Series C round in Clinverse in August 2014.

While some other payment tech firms dabble in the clinical trials market, the two main direct competitors to Clinverse are King of Prussia-based Greenphire and CFS Clinical of Audubon, which was acquired by DrugDev in 2013.

The 'Sunshine Act' reporting requirements, which went into effect in 2013, requires manufacturers of drugs, medical devices and biologicals that participate in U.S. federal health care programs to report certain payments and items of value given to physicians and teaching hospitals. This reporting need is the other side of the value proposition for the clinical trial payments vendors. Similar regulations are expected worldwide, although they may have been slower to materialize than expected.

Its not clear who is leading among the three clinical payment competitors, though Bioclinca must have liked what it saw in Clinverse's numbers. Greenphire ( see my 2013 profile )  in which PE firm The Riverside Company owns a controlling stake, reported revenue of $8.5 million in 2014, according to the Inc. 5000, up from $5.4 million in 2012. It moved into larger King of Prussia quarters in early 2015 and announced a goal to increase employment from 65 to 100 by year's end (LinkedIn currently shows 85). It just issued a release claimng "unprecedented year over year growth." CFS Clinical had 2012 revenue of $11 million, according to the Inc. 5000, though its a somewhat older business with a different revenue mix.

The Triangle Business Journal describes how the match between Bioclinica and Clinverse came to be. One issue that comes to mind is to what extent Clinverse will be able to serve the external market, rather than having all its energy sucked up by internal Bioclinica issues.