Oracle Buys Healthcare Software Firm Phase Forward For $685 Million

Enterprise giant Oracle will acquire healthcare software firm Phase Forward for $685 million. Of course, this is small change compared to Oracle’s $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, which was approved recently. The deal is expected to close mid-year in 2010.

Phase Forward’s software is used by drug companies for clinical trials. The company’s software automates the entire clinical development process — from Phase I through regulatory submission, post-approval trials and and more. The company will be folded into Oracle’s Health Sciences Global Business Unit.

IBM also recently made a healthcare software acquisition, buying up Initiate Systems to boost its own healthcare offerings.