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Clinical Ink


Pioneering Technology Company, Clinical Ink, Is a Perfect Fit for the Innovation Quarter

It’s full circle for Doug Pierce. He’s working in a field that’s close to his heart. Thirty years ago, Pierce’s pediatrician father, Doug Pierce Sr., developed a new method of capturing and documenting data. As a Christmas present one year, Pierce Jr. redesigned and printed the documentation forms for his father’s practice. Within a short time, other doctors were asking the pediatrician where he got the forms. Then in 1997, Doug and his father decided to start a business creating and providing medical forms for clinical practices.


Then in 2007, Pierce met Dr. Tommy Littlejohn III, and together they founded Clinical Ink . Littlejohn was the chief medical officer at PMG Research, a Winston-Salem-based, nationally known integrated network of research sites. “We started Clinical Ink to address fundamental inefficiencies in data capture and management in clinical trials,” said Pierce, president of Clinical Ink.

Pierce is now working in 525@vine in the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. The recently redeveloped facility, constructed in 1926 by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and used as a blending and processing plant, is now home to a wide variety of tenants. “Innovation Quarter is doing a great job of attracting the kind of workers we need, ones who want a lifestyle approach, and supporting service businesses,” Pierce said.

Clinical Ink has grown rapidly since 2007, doubling in size this year, and spreading quickly into its new 7,676-square-foot home. The company has expanded from helping manage 13 clinical research trials in 2012 to almost 60 studies in 2014, with the number of clinical trial subjects increasing from 2,350 to over 16,500. While headquartered in the Innovation Quarter, the company also has facilities in New Jersey, Denver and Philadelphia.

The clinical trial software company is a perfect fit the Innovation Quarter. “We are pleased to have Clinical Ink’s headquarters here,” said Eric Tomlinson, president of Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “This company is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in information technology and clinical research.”

The hallmark of the company is SureSource®, an award-winning proprietary electronic platform that provides users with a paperless system for the fast and accurate recording of data, comments, explanations and other information required in clinical trials. “We can deliver validated data in real time directly to the people who need it. Edit checks are run at the time of data capture and then it is displayed on a web portal allowing everyone to see real-time information,” Pierce said. Clinical Ink’s platform is currently being used in 14 languages in 20 countries.

The beauty of the system, according to Pierce, is that the platform streamlines work at the research site because data need be entered only once. The rate of human error is greatly reduced since missing data are flagged, bringing more efficiency. Just as important, the SureSource platform allows auditing to be done without leaving the client’s office.

This alone translates into saving money (the most expensive component of clinical trials is manpower) and, ultimately, bringing drugs to market more quickly.

More than 30 years ago, Pierce had hoped to make a difference in the world of clinical research. Today, he is poised to do the most important work of his life. “Collapsing a two-week window down to two minutes because of SureSource could save lives in an epidemic,” Pierce said.