Oracle has bought a company called Phase Forward (NASDAQ:PFWD) in a cash deal worth around $685 million.

The company produces applications for healthcare providers and life science companies. Oracle said the acquisition of the firm was in line with its strategy to provide applications for different key industries.

Staff and management at Phase Forward will become part of the Oracle Health Sciences Global Business Unit, provided the deal receives regulatory and shareholder approval.

Phase Forward software has been used in over 10,000 clinical trials and deployed in drug development and patient care. Oracle's general manager of its Health Sciences division said life science and healthcare industries are converging. Phase Forward employees already have significant expertise in Oracle applications, said Neil de Crescenzo.

The acquisition is due to be completed by the middle of this year.