hyperCORE International positions itself as the second-largest clinical research site organization in the world. A “super network” of clinical research site/network companies, it was formed to help unify clinical research site companies, facilitate collaboration, and provide scale and competitive differentiation—many sites collaborating is more effective than individual sites competing. Each member, although operating as a separate company, collaborates jointly in the market, sharing best practices (and now systems) to win more sponsor business. Recently, hyperCORE members announced they would be utilizing technology tools designed for sites by Devana Solutions LLC.
The hyperCORE deal
Devana Systems, from what TrialSite News can tell, hasn’t experienced breakout growth as of yet since their founding in 2016. However, the hyperCORE International deal will put them on the map. Although some have suggested that research site networks, such as hyperCORE International, are as much marketing as they are integrated and unified network, this particular site network has established a sizeable network of partners that cannot be ignored. They appear to be quite serious.
hyperCORE International claims they are an industry leader in offering Phase I -IV clinical trial services with more than 81 active research sites across the globe. It reports that its member companies have completed more than 6,000 clinical trials helping to evaluate thousands of new drugs and treatments in more than 15 million patients. What purports to keep this network tightly coupled network together are “shared best practices,” hence streamlining activities from contracting and study-start-up to patient recruitment and site coordination. Its members have won a number of awards for performance, quality, and innovation.
hyperCORE sites listed in the press release that have signed up to use the software include:
AGA Clinical Trials of Hialeah, Florida; Benchmark Research of Austin, Texas; Clinical Site Partners of Miami, Florida; Clinical Trials of Texas of San Antonio, Texas; DIEX Recherche of Sherbrooke, Canada; IACT Health of Columbus, Georgia; and LMC Manna Research of Toronto, Canada.
If Devana Solutions will be servicing this large site network and the cloud-based technology is not only adopted but is proven to streamline processes, then they should be able to leverage the proven return on investment for faster growth. In clinical trial collaboration implementations such as externalized collaborative systems, such as the one at hand, successful implementation and adaption are as much art as they are science.
What follows is a brief breakdown of Devana Systems via a question and answer or comment format.
Who is Devana Systems LLC?
Devana Systems is a clinical research technology company based in Chapel Hill, NC, and Charleston, SC.
When were they Founded?
Who is their Founder(s)?
Barry Lake founded the company. From 2004 to the present, he has also helped run another project management software venture as well.
How big are they Today in 2020? /Estimate Revenue
Between 10 and 20 employees/Estimate, they are still under $2 million 4 years into the venture.
What are their Products?
Devana Offers a suite of software tools geared for clinical investigational sites, including Devana IGNITE, Devana PROPEL, and Devana IQ for sponsors and CROs.
Fundamentally a research site business development-focused software, the site-focused vendor positions IGNITE as “an easy-to-use software platform used to streamline complex pipeline management process by consolidating all trial opportunities in one place. Inherently a customer relationship management (CRM)-based system; sites use this tool for business development, contact management, start-up activities, study execution, and performance metrics according to the vendor’s website. It would appear that the system is built on the Salesforce cloud-based CRM platform—see it showcased in the Salesforce App Exchange.
The vendor suggests that the CRM-like foundation can be used as a study start-up and clinical trial management system-friendly capability with features such as Pre-CTMS data collection, aggregation, and analysis for quick decisions, data transparency and mobilization across stakeholders, real-time pipeline review and tracking of critical contacts, documents and tasks and other features such as task management, etc.
The PROPEL tool supports the automation of start-up, Analytics, and Reporting across the site network. Research sites can represent a network of hundreds of locations. The PROPEL platform supports the localization of trials to the most effective sites across the “footprint,” and what the vendor claims is a savings of time and costs in study start-up while building the site network’s reputation for reliable performance.
IQ for Sponsors and CROs
Finally, their IQ for sponsors and CROs enable research sites, site networks, and academic research centers to use the vendor’s companion technology to share and synchronize study start-up milestones as they are achieved in real-time with their Sponsor and CRO partners fostering true operational-alignment across clinical trial industry stakeholders, in what the vendor declares leads to a dramatic reduction in cycle times and cost for a clinical trial.
The Challenges Vendors Face in this Space
Devana Solutions will face a tough road for growth. The clinical research site space can be sliced and diced and segmented into a number of independent clinical research sites, site networks, health systems and hospitals, academic medical centers, non-profit networks, and the like. In health systems and academic medical centers, buying processes are complex, and lengthy buyers are inherently conservative. The bigger they are, the more conservative-leaning. They often select established vendors with sizeable technology installed footprints with a suite of offerings from not only study start-up and CRM, but also electronic health/patient records, clinical trial management systems, and electronic data capture systems; not to mention regulatory document management systems for regulatory binders. There are a handful of far bigger players on the market serving the major research centers and hospital and health systems with clinical trial divisions.
The independent clinical research site space is extremely fragmented and distributed—most research sites have little funding for systems. A huge portion of small investigator operations become in the “one and done” category where they conduct one clinical study then call it a day.
Moreover, a new wave of the functional-focused vendor, in some cases very well-funded, targeting site applications such as electronic investigator site file and digital regulatory binders are battling it out for market share—from Forte Systems to Florence to $20+ billion market-cap Veeva Systems and the new Site Vault Free, TrialSite News has openly discussed when large Silicon Valley ventures are seeding the market with robust cloud-based technology at no cost that becomes difficult to compete with.
Focus on Business Development with the Site Space
The art of focus can help a software company succeed in the research site space. We suspect that if Devana Solutions can leverage its Salesforce-based applications centering on site contracting and business development on building a critical mass of adopters of the software, it could then gain considerable market share in at least a percentage of the many thousands of small sites around the world. Successful implementation of the hyperCORE International deal, along with the articulation of a compelling return on investment, will undoubtedly help them position to grow. But they will probably face a long road given some assumptions made, including 1) market competition 2) fragmented nature of research site space 3) long sales cycles/high cost of customer acquisition 4) lack of growth capital and 5) lack of full set of built-in requirements for larger site organizations such as academics and health systems.
The hyperCORE International deal appears to be an impressive feat, given the extent and reach of this site network. If Devana Solutions can successfully execute on the delivery to this site network—and publish an associated return on investment and customer testimonial—it can prove to the market its value, and then the future could be bright.