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By Leena Rao

Enterprise giant Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) will acquire healthcare software firm Phase Forward for $685 million. Of course, this is small change compared to Oracle’s $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems, which was approved recently. The deal is expected to close mid-year in 2010.

Phase Forward’s software is used by drug companies for clinical trials. The company’s software automates the entire clinical development process — from Phase I through regulatory submission, post-approval trials and and more. The company will be folded into Oracle’s Health Sciences Global Business Unit.

IBM also recently made a healthcare software acquisition, buying up Initiate Systems to boost its own healthcare offerings.

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Source: Oracle Buys Healthcare Software Firm for $685 Million