Global Contract Research Organization (CRO) Services Market Braces for an 8% CAGR Journey to $110 Bn

The Contract Research Organization (CRO) services market is gaining momentum due to rising R&D investment, innovative therapeutic areas, cost-efficiency, regulatory compliance, and the complexity of pharmaceuticals and clinical trials.
BRUSSELS - Oct. 18, 2023 - PRLog -- The level of outsourcing to CROs varies by function and is highest in the laboratory testing, clinical trial, and post-approval stages when compared to the discovery and pre-clinical stages. The percentage of outsourcing is proportionate to the complexity and regulatory knowledge required at each level. The pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device sectors frequently outsource to CROs for the following reasons:
  • Better return on R&D investments
  • Lack of internal capabilities (esp. small biopharma companies)
  • Increasing complexity in developing targeted therapeutic areas like immuno-oncology therapies
  • Stringent regulatory requirements
  • Time and cost-efficiency
Impact of Covid-19: Growing Interest in Virtual Clinical Trials

To ensure the integrity and regulatory compliance of existing studies, CROs are proactively moving site activities to decentralized/virtual trials whenever possible.

"COVID-19 has necessitated the rapid uptake of a decentralized clinical trial approach to monitoring clinical trials. There was a brief period where, with the pandemic happening, most companies were faced with a huge stop in their clinical trial activities, which required rethinking, retooling, and re-strategizing how best to re-engage these sites with the clinical trials that they have currently ongoing." - Former Division Leader, Industry-Leading CRO, US

The Market Is Moving Towards Full-Service CROs/One-Stop Shops

Because of the difficulties of drug development, biopharma firms need a full-service CRO solution throughout the drug development lifecycle. Aside from the range of services (pre-clinical, clinical, and commercialization), CROs are increasingly delivering scalable services, specialized technology, and a worldwide presence.

Increasing Therapeutic and Clinical Trial Complexity

Clinical trials and specific therapeutic areas (such as cancer, CNS, cardiovascular, and diabetes) are becoming increasingly complicated, making them more expensive and harder to create in-house, according to the CRO industry. Furthermore, the shifting regulatory environment and onerous penalties for noncompliance lengthen, expense, and complexity of drug development, making it more appealing to outsource.

Competitive Landscape Analysis: Contract Research Organization (CRO) Services market

Over the previous decade, the CRO business has seen tremendous consolidation, transitioning from a highly fragmented market to a more consolidated environment. This trend is mostly driven by big pharma's desire to work with fewer full-service CROs. IQVIA, Labcorp, Syneos Health, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Parexel, ICON, Charles River, WUXI Apptec, Pharmacon Beijing, and SGS are some of the prominent companies in the Contract Research Organization (CRO) services industry.

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Ruta Halde
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