Advarra acquires Irish firm Longboat to enhance clinical trials

27 Nov 2020

Image: © toeytoey/

Dublin-based tech company Longboat will join Advarra with the aim of making clinical trials safer and more efficient.

Longboat, an Irish provider of technology for clinical trials, has been acquired by US firm Advarra. Together, the companies will develop an integrated compliance management platform to help make clinical trials more efficient.

Headquartered in Maryland, Advarra specialises in safety, technology and collaboration tools for clinical studies, working with life sciences companies, clinical research organisations and more. Dublin-based Longboat is a clinical-software provider for on-site training, protocol compliance and research.

Advarra CEO Gadi Saarony said the two companies share a “mutual vision of advancing clinical trials and accelerating drug development”.

“By empowering sites and engaging patients through technology, Longboat creates a natural bridge from our institutional review board and institutional biosafety committee reviews and consulting services to our existing site-facing technology solutions, including OnCore, our clinical trial management system,” Saarony added.

Earlier this month, the company closed another acquisition with IntegReview IRB, a Texas-based business that will become its first office in the southern US.

What Longboat is bringing to Advarra

Longboat’s goal is to accelerate clinical trials and keep studies on track. It supervises teams and develops tools for patients, spanning education, informed consent, visit reminders, guidance and study updates. The company’s chief medical officer, Prof Douglas Veale, is a consultant rheumatologist at St Vincent’s University Hospital and a principal investigator at the Conway Institute at University College Dublin.

Longboat CEO Ken O’Connell was previously the chief financial officer for Firecrest Clinical, which was acquired by ICON in 2011. He is also the finance director of hand-hygiene company i360 Hygiene.

Commenting on Longboat’s acquisition, O’Connell said: “We are pleased to combine with a high-growth industry leader with deep expertise in regulatory compliance and site workflow technology and analytics.

“With a commitment to technology-enabled solutions and an approach that fosters collaboration across the clinical ecosystem, joining Advarra will provide increased opportunities to expand compliance management offerings.”

Lisa Ardill was careers editor at Silicon Republic until June 2021