Oracle Buys Stake In Digital Health Technology Developer

Proteus develops what it calls "ingestible sensors" -- tiny devices embedded in pills that communicate health data to sensors worn outside the body.

In recent years Oracle has acquired a number of companies that develop software used by pharmaceutical companies for drug development and clinical testing. Last year the company acquired ClearTrial, a developer of operational and analytical clinical trial applications, for an undisclosed sum.

In 2010 Oracle bought Phase Forward, a developer of applications for life sciences and pharmaceutical companies, for $685 million. And in 2009 it bought Relsys International, a developer of drug safety and risk management applications.

Proteus has more than 500 patents and patent applications in the area of digital health feedback systems. Ingestible sensors in drugs work with sensors worn outside the body and applications on mobile devices to communicate data about a body's physiologic responses to drugs. Such data is critical during clinical testing of new drugs before government regulators approve them.

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Oracle said it would integrate Proteus' technologies with its clinical trial products, including the Oracle Health Sciences InForm, Oracle Life Sciences Data Hub and the Siebel Clinical Trial Management System.

Oracle did not disclose the financial details of the stake it has made in Redwood City, Calif.-based Proteus Digital Health, other than to call it a "strategic minority investment."