Merge Healthcare Incorporated
) expanded its eClinical OS platform by including endpoint and
adjudication management. The latest extension of the eClinical OS
platform of the company is embedded within an electronic data
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Merge could develop this new unified solution by utilizing the
experience of working with the largest worldwide endpoint
adjudication coordinating centers. The extension will help Merge
to provide end-to-end study support for trials of all sizes via a
single platform. Users can enhance cost efficiency and save time
with a single, seamless system. By collaborating and enhancing
flexibility of the workflow, this will also improve the endpoint
management and adjudication process for all stakeholders.
Merge eClinical OS is a single, web-based platform that can
secure any form of data from any source, over any modality. Given
the exhaustive menu of clinical trial capabilities, it can
support trials in different phases. Thus, the use of eClinical OS
gives a strong base to support the trial environment.
The enhanced eClinical OS platform can enable contract research
organizations (CROs) and clinical study sponsors to conduct and
manage clinical studies in a more efficient manner. According to
the company, Merge eClinical OS is a scalable platform that can
also support alterations in size, number or complexity of the
Since its launch in Jun 2012, Merge eClinical OS, the platform
has witnessed a strong uptake. On a sequential basis, the number
of clinical studies under contract for eClinical franchise surged
57% and number of sites using eClinical solutions increased 65%.
The Bigger Picture
According to Merge, the worldwide growth for the eClinical
solutions market is estimated at 13.4% to correspond to market
opportunity of $4.8 billion through 2017. Moreover, the rest of
the world is the fastest growing market for eClinical technology
with an annualized growth of 16.6%. Thus far, Merge eClinical
platform is doing well (79% bookings growth and 190 contract wins
in the most recent quarter). We are optimistic that the company
will gain further from the global opportunities.
Despite the healthy client wins and bookings growth, Merge posted
another weak quarter to end a challenging 2012. Although the huge
market opportunity for its platforms is encouraging, the
company's growth prospect is highly dependent on capital
investments by hospitals for advanced imaging solutions, which
are in turn tied to the general economic conditions.
Despite the lucrative market opportunity, we remain on the
sidelines until we see signs of improved execution. As a result,
the stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). However, other
healthcare stocks such as
), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), warrant a look.