CRF Box Selects Palm Handhelds For Clinical Trials

Feb. 20, 2002: Palm, Inc, and CRF Box Inc, a provider of real-time patient feedback and mobile data-collection solutions for the global pharmaceutical industry, today announced that CRF Box will acquire approximately 9,600 Palm m125 and m500 handheld computers and SD Cards over the course of this calendar year. The Palm handhelds will be a key component of CRF Box's new front-end solution for testing and evaluating new therapeutics in clinical trials.

The Palm handhelds are intended to help CRF Box customers accelerate the approval of new pharmaceuticals and help to increase their overall sales of marketed drugs by raising the quality and improving the speed of data collection during clinical R&D. Drug companies can spend as much as $500 million to bring a drug to market. CRF Box, which has its headquarters in Helsinki, Finland, optimizes the global research and development, marketing and regulatory compliance processes for pharmaceutical companies.

In a typical trial, patients are trained and then issued Palm handhelds and SD Cards loaded with software applications that remind and prompt them to
make entries in their trial diary. During the trial, the essential patient data is transferred to the SD Cards. About the size of a postage stamp, SD Cards are portable, removable and are capable of holding all the time-sensitive records for the trial, including a date and time stamp. This not only validates when the information is entered but meets the requirements of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) that clinical data be permanently stored for verification at a later date.

Spurring the pharmaceutical industry's introduction to mobile technology is a 1997 decision by the FDA that provided clear guidelines on how technology
should support clinical data capture and storage to streamline the clinical trial process and improve the quality of data collected. Both the FDA and its
European counterpart, EMEA (The European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products), have found that electronic data capture improves the quality of data by several hundred percent compared to paper-based data-collection methods. The FDA findings prompted companies such as CRF Box
to explore how new technologies could remove paper-driven, error-prone processes for clinical trials. In 1998, CRF Box began developing its application suite that was first deployed into a commercial clinical program in 2000. Today, as one of the most experienced providers, the CRF Box solution is connecting more than 30,000 patients and 500 sites worldwide.

"In our experience, in the majority of deployments where our pharmaceutical customers have a choice of platform, they prefer Palm OS because it offers superior robustness and functionality at a cost ensuring the highest ROI. Within this agreement, we are able to provide even faster program setup times and provide increased returns for our pharmaceutical customers," said Timo Ahopelto, chief executive officer at CRF Box.

"We prefer Palm, specifically in the U.S. market, because Palm handhelds are easy to use, offer expansion capabilities, and provide a cost-effective deployment alternative," said Jaakko Ollila, vice president of business development at CRF Box. "Patients like the ease of use that Palm handhelds offer. Many patients are elderly or disabled, and the user-friendly interface Palm handhelds provide makes it easy to teach patients and investigators how to use them."

The versatility of Palm handhelds also ensures usability in other areas of data collection in the pharmaceutical industry. CRF Box predicts that many people taking medications in the future will be asked to report on their experiences using a handheld device. Data collected from patients has immense value to pharmaceutical drug marketers and also can be used to confirm compliance and patient safety. Ultimately, the major benefactor in this data collection is the patient.

"Palm handhelds with the Palm Expansion Card Slot are transforming the clinical trials industry by giving solutions providers like CRF Box a faster, more accurate and less costly way to conduct clinical trials for their customers," said Pam Carlson, senior director, business and government sales at Palm, Inc. "We are excited to know that Palm handhelds will help CRF Box facilitate the efforts of companies that are working to develop new medical treatments for patients."

About CRF Box

CRF Box is leading the way with real-time patient connectivity and mobile data capture solutions, accelerating the approval of new therapeutics and increasing the sales of marketed products in the biopharmaceutical industry. The company deploys its versatile wireless and Internet technology to capture
and report data through PDAs, mobile/cellular phones, smart phones, and Internet. The proven technology and service solution is in active use in clinical trials, marketing studies, and compliance monitoring with over 30,000 patients and 500 sites worldwide. Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, the company operates globally with regional offices in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Sweden. For more information, visit


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