Settlement of a lawsuit and a reorganization of the company drove up losses at etrials Worldwide (Nasdaq: ETWC) in the fourth quarter, the e-clinical trials company said Thursday.

Losses increased to $2.6 million, or 24 cents a share, compared to $46,000 in losses for the same quarter a year earlier. A lawsuit settlement with Datasci in a patent dispute cost etrails $1.75 million. The firm also spent $830,000 in adding and reorganizing personnel.

etrials reported a 43 percent increase in new bookings, to $7 million, from the third quarter. That total is 37 percent higher than in 2006.

“etrials’ fourth quarter results attest to progress we are making in restarting the growth engine and improving etrials’ organizational effectiveness in order to take full advantage of the very healthy and growing opportunity for eClinical technology in the mid-tier market,” said Chip Jennings, the firm’s new chief executive officer. “Our revitalized sales force, while still in formation and ramping to full productivity, succeeded in obtaining more business from existing clients.”

For the year, etrials reported revenues of $18.3 million, an increase of 18 percent from 2006, and a loss of $6.2 million, or 57 cents a share. In 2006, etrials lost $1.8 million, or 18 cents a share.