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ERT Reports First Quarter 2009 Results
Date:4/30/2009

as $157.0 million as of March 31, 2009 compared to $151.4 million a year ago. The annualized cancellation rate was 22.4% in the first quarter of 2009 compared to 19.3% in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 15.6% in the first quarter of 2008.

"The results for this quarter were in line with our expectations, as given by our guidance in February," commented Dr. Michael McKelvey, President and CEO of ERT. "The first quarter was marked by a significant decline in revenue, in large part due to a sharp reduction in Thorough QT revenue. This reflects the ability of companies to delay the running of Thorough QT trials until later in the drug development cycle, though current regulatory guidance ultimately requires that they be performed. Routine revenue (Phase I through Phase IV trials) was also impacted as a result of the larger percentage of our past business being booked in Phase III trials, which are longer-term trials and thus take longer to turn into revenue, as well as a slower rate of spending by our pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients. The latter reflects the current difficult economic environment and the uncertainty seen in pharmaceutical sponsors' spending. Despite the revenue decline, our gross margin percentage remained above 50%. We continue to be pleased with our strong operational performance and with the results of our discussions with key pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on strategic outsourcing relationships."

"We made good progress on our strategic priorities in the first quarter," continued Dr. McKelvey. "We continue to be successful in winning new and expanded exclusive or near-exclusive long-term enterprise partnerships with large clients, which should positively impact our future levels of new booking activity. We successfully launched two significant efforts aimed at expanding industry penetration of centralized ECGs by focusing on how centralization of ECGs ca
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SOURCE eResearchTechnology, Inc.
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