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Glaxo, Wyeth Cut Costs With Trial Software

SAN FRANCISCO ( TheStreet) -- With the click of a mouse, pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Get Report) and Wyeth (WYE) save billions of dollars running clinical drug trials using software from DecisionView, a San Francisco-based startup.

Three of 10 marketed drugs produce revenue that exceeds the $1.1 billion in average development costs, according to the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. Alex Lancksweert, director of Business Performance Analytics at GlaxoSmithKline, said DecisionView's predictive analytics has enabled the drugmaker to double the frequency with which trials are completed on time. GlaxoSmithKline has 150 trials in progress.

DecisionView helps pharmaceutical companies track trials across global teams, forecasts and models scenarios, and automates patient recruitment. The software can be hosted on a client's Web site or by DecisionView. The company is supported by Adobe's (ADBE) venture-capital arm, Granite Ventures and Aeris Capital.

"Patient enrollment is one of the most promising areas for pharmaceutical companies for operational performance improvements," said Alan Louie, research director at market-research firm IDC. "The ability to capture, analyze and leverage historical trial enrollment data in planning patient recruitment efforts provides a critical baseline that life-sciences organizations need to benchmark and improve these processes."

A third of trials fail because companies can't recruit enough subjects. Trials cost $5,000 to $35,000 a day to run.

GlaxoSmithKline's Lancksweert detailed one Phase III trial for a cardiovascular drug that was completed recently. He said it was complex, involving 15,000 patients in 35 countries at 700 trial sites. Using the software saved two days a week compiling reports, allowing a weekly status report of the trial to be generated for the entire organization almost instantaneously. That enabled deviations to be identified and problems addressed. The trial ultimately was completed six months ahead of schedule, saving GlaxoSmithKline an estimated $6 million.

DecisionView's software is being used by four of the 10 major global pharmaceutical companies, according to Chief Executive Officer Jim Scullion.

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