Virtify--5 emerging eClinical firms to watch

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Virtify--life sciences document management and real-time collaboration

Virtify plays in an increasingly competitive document management field, but the Cambridge, MA-based firm appears to offer some key advantages for life sciences companies that are dealing with an overload of content to manage. And customers such as Wyeth (now part of Pfizer) have given this emerging company some nice reviews.

Indeed, it would be shortchanging Virtify to classify as just another document management shop. The firm's web-based software takes document management a step further on several fronts, not the least significant of which is streamlining submissions to regulators such as the FDA and Europe's EMA. It also addresses document creation and collaboration challenges, reducing the time it takes to create key content compared with paper-based methods. And its software can be easily updated to keep life sciences firms on top of regulatory changes that can have an impact on their content.

Virtify got a financial boost in 2009 with a $15 million investment from the Tudor Ventures, funding the company's plans to expand its operations and customer base. The company is also supported by life sciences industry veterans like its executive chairman, Mike Webb, a Massachusetts biotech bigwig who has been chief executive of firms such as Ascent Therapeutics (a Fierce 15 company) and is a past chairman of MassBio. Webb gives the firm visibility among life sciences industry players.

Still, the company faces the challenge of selling life sciences customers on how it is different from the rest of the document management pack. And like other providers of eClinical software, continued consolidation among Big Pharma and biotechs can both thin the field of prospective customers as well as delay companies' plans to roll out new technology during post-merge integrations. Those factors aside, Virtify appears to give life sciences companies a reason to adopt its technology for all the potential operational and efficiency benefits it offers.

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