Capturing the EDC market

Bio-Imaging Technologies acquires Phoenix Data Systems for $24 million

Amy Swinderman
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NEWTON, Pa.—In an effort to better serve the rapidly growing global electronic data capture (EDC) market, Bio-Imaging Technologies Inc. announced last month its acquisition of Phoenix Data Systems Inc., a privately held clinical data services provider, for $24 million.

With the addressable global EDC services market in the clinical trials space expected to increase to more than $1 billion within the next five years, the Phoenix Data merger will allow the two companies to offer a broader set of clinical trial services to their pharmaceutical and biotechnology customers, says Bio-Imaging CEO Mark Weinstein.

"As a small, publicly traded company, we've been a major player in the imaging space and in clinical data, but only a subset of clinical data, given what we have seen in adaptive clinical trials," Weinstein said. "We've been interested in expanding into the eClinical space for several years, and we've been looking for a good partner that understands the convergence of what we are doing in medical imaging and clinical data."

On the verge of its own growth spurt, Phoenix Data was a good fit for Bio-Imaging with its excellent reputation, strong management team, comprehensive suite of products and services with growing profitable operations, Weinstein says.

"At the same time, Phoenix Data will be able to leverage the benefits of a transparent, larger publicly traded company," he notes.

Founded in 1997 and headquartered in nearby King of Prussia, Pa., Phoenix Data delivers a unique combination of EDC, interactive voice response, reporting and data management services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and CRO clients. The company generated $12 million of revenue and an operating profit in 2007.

"What we're looking to do is really take the eClinical space to places where none of our competitors are looking right now," says Phoenix Data President Dr. William Claypool. "With Bio-Imaging's proprietary image capture technologies and scientific expertise, we extend our unparalleled suite of services to support the clinical development efforts of our clients and prepare their data for regulatory submissions. The combination of these two companies beings a lot of breadth and attention to the Phoenix Data message. We're looking forward to expanding that message and refining it as time goes on."

The acquisition is a cash and stock transaction valued at $24 million, payable at closing, consisting of $7 million in cash and nearly 2.3 million shares of Bio-Imaging stock valued at $17 million. Based on the inclusion of Phoenix Data's financial results from the March 25 acquisition date through the end of the year, Bio-Imaging is revising up its full year 2008 guidance to service revenue from $52 to $55 million and fully diluted earnings per share from 22 to 24 cents.

Phoenix Data will retain its name and continue to be managed by Claypool. All of Phoenix Data's 127 employees will join Bio-Imaging as a new division of its core clinical trials services business.

Weinstein says the Phoenix Data merger is a "tuck-in acquisition" that will complement Bio-Imaging's previous two company additions. In December 2004, Bio-Imaging acquired Heart Core B.V., a global provider of cardiovascular, pulmonary and orthopedic clinical research based in Leiden, The Netherlands. In February 2004, the company added Theralys SA, a small imaging core lab based in Lyons, France that serves the fields of central nervous system disorders and neurovascular diseases.

Weinstein hints that Bio-Imaging may make similar acquisitions in the near future.

"All of these companies have totally integrated into our business, and we don't see them as anything other than a part of our core," Weinstein said. "We still have $10 million in the bank and are profitable with no debt. We're going to be busy with the Phoenix Data acquisition for a while, but we're always looking for more acquisitions and will continue to do so."

Amy Swinderman

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