Extending its strategy of targeting vertical markets, Oracle has said that it will acquire privately held NetForce, a Californian company specialising in software for drug safety monitoring and reporting.
Neither company would give a value on the deal, but said that they expect it to close on or about 25 January.
NetForce's sole product is the EventNet product tracking software that Oracle will add to its Clinical suite. The acquisition represents Oracle's first move into the life sciences market.
EventNet helps firms track the development and market feedback on their products, and is especially targeted at the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries.
According to Oracle, the software was developed by NetForce specifically to fit with Oracle software.
Sohaib Abbasi, senior vice president of Oracle's Product Development Division, said: "EventNet had been built to integrate with Oracle Clinical and shares the same data model to ensure that data only has to be stored once and in a single format.
"Companies can no longer afford to have their clinical data and their safety data fragmented across separate systems."
Oracle maintains that companies have traditionally built their own in-house applications. According to Abbasi, NetForce has 17 customers for EventNet, a user base built up over the past four years.
By law, companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries must record and track product complaints and adverse events suspected to be associated with any of their products.
These must be analysed and reported to the regulatory agencies in every country where the product is marketed. Integrating EventNet with Oracle Clinical will help manage vital information and speed up that reporting process, according to Oracle.
The company said it will begin selling the NetForce product alongside its existing products as soon as the deal closes, and that it will initially target the European and US markets with the combined offering.
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