ICON acquires site performance specialist Firecrest

ICON has expanded its capacity to drive study quality and efficacy in clinical research by acquiring fellow Irish company Firecrest Clinical.

No financial details were released on the deal. Founded in 2001 and based in Limerick, Firecrest has developed and markets a site-performance management system that ICON says has been used by nine of the world’s top ten pharmaceutical companies to improve compliance, consistency and execution at investigative sites in clinical trials.

The web-based solution enables accurate study information, including protocol details, training manuals and case report forms, to be rolled out quickly and simultaneously to investigative sites, said ICON, the global provider of outsourced development services based in Dublin.

Site behaviour can then be tracked to ensure training is understood, procedures are being followed, timelines met and study parameters maintained, ICON noted.

Delivering consistent, real-time information to sites and a “clear path to follow in the conduct of trials” not only boosts study quality but drives efficiencies and improves study timelines, commented chief executive officer (CEO) Peter Gray.

ICON had already worked with Firecrest on a number of trials and had “seen first hand how their technology improves quality through enhanced protocol compliance and drives efficiencies by reducing data queries and errors at sites”, Gray added.

According to Firecrest, the company aims to boost patient recruitment for clinical trials by 10-12%, while its technology produces “much cleaner” data, with 40-50% fewer data queries.

“Our combined commitment to quality and our shared vision for using innovative
technology to deliver more efficient and effective development programmes make thecompanies a good fit,” Gray stated.

Gary Hughes, CEO and co-founder of Firecrest, pointed out that technology is “driving transformation” within the pharmaceutical and clinical trials industries. “Leveraging ICON’s global presence and deep client relationships will enable us to continue to grow and develop new and innovative technology solutions,” he said.

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