etrials Worldwide, saying it needs to grow to meet expanding customer needs, has closed on $2.5 million in a Series A venture capital round.

Prodea, a VC firm based in Richardson, TX, led the round along with Infologix, which already is an etrials investor.

The deal comes less than three weeks after etrials closed on a $3.7 million contract to deliver data for a Phase III trial using its electronic data capture system. etrials merged earlier this year with Artacel and already is profitable.

Fred Nazem, chairman of the board of etrials, and other etrials top management also participated in the round. Nazem’s firm, Nazem and Company, where he is managing partner, coordinated the investment.

“This investment, combined with the continued success we are achieving for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, will allow us to further expand into new market segments and strengthen our international presence,” said John Cline, chief executive officer of etrials in a statement. “We have already made great strides in developing, deploying and supporting powerful technology that promises to lower the total cost of clinical trials. This funding will help etrials continue to meet the growing needs of our international clients, who are seeking to get valuable new drugs and therapies to market faster.”

etrials, which was launched in 1999, offers a variety of software and services designed to simplify and speed up the collection, analysis and submission of clinical trial data for pharmaceutical,
biotechnology and medical device companies.

The company says it has a backlog of orders and already is participating in one clinical trial involving more than 10,000 participants at 600 sites. The Phase III trial is etrials’ largest to date, worth $3.7 million.

etrials said the money will be used to accelerate its sales and marketing efforts on the heels of the recent merger with Araccel Corporation.

Other money could be raised as part of the A round, the company added.

“etrials is a great company that enjoys an impressive and growing list of clients,” Nazem said it a statement. “It has an excellent sales pipeline, a fast-growing backlog and, most importantly, is profitable.

“With this round of funding and with the recent restructuring and cost savings from the merger, we have secured a stable and prosperous future for etrials.”

etrials’ growth helped attract Prodea’s interest.

“Prodea has made an investment in etrials because we believe they have the most momentum and the best metrics in the industry,” said Hamid Ansari, general partner at Prodea, in a statement. “etrials fits the model of the type of companies in which Prodea invests: smart, well-managed companies that find a way to succeed for their clients, no matter the obstacles. In our opinion, etrials has done this more successfully than any other company in their market space to date.”

etrials: www.etrials.com