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Global Market for Contract Research Organization (CRO) Services

  • ID: 4704012
  • Report
  • November 2018
  • Region: Global
  • 82 Pages
  • BCC Research


  • Chiltern
  • Concord Biosciences
  • Covance
  • Icon Plc
  • Labcorp
  • MAPI

Report Scope

The Global CRO market is identified in this report along with all major global CRO companies. The total CRO market is broken out globally and by geographic region. Additionally, all major therapeutic areas covered by CROs in the clinical trial process are detailed. The service areas provided by CROs are extensively covered as well. The phases of the clinical trial process and the role provided by CROs are detailed in this report as well.

This report provides a detailed analysis of top CRO companies and their evolving role in the clinical trial process. Faced with rapid development of new therapies, Pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning to CROs for their services. CRO’s expertise within specific therapeutic areas as well as their experience with new and adaptive study design protocols can reduce costs and study duration. With typical clinical trials costing upwards of $2.5 billion and spanning over a decade from initial testing to Phase IV and post-market approval, a thriving market exists to lower these costs and timelines. CROs are expected to continue to play an increasing role in many facets of the clinical trial process.

Oncology, neurology, cardiovascular, metabolism-diabetes, vaccines and other rapidly growing therapeutic areas that have a significant number of drugs in the clinical trial process are detailed in this report.

Strong demand for CRO services is leading to heightened market valuations and correspondingly a plethora of blockbuster Merger and Acquisition deals are taking place. M&A activity has led to a few powerful companies with expertise across many areas of the clinical trial process, although many niche players are still playing a critical role. These emerging trends and changing dynamics within the CRO industry are analyzed in detail in this report.

The Report Includes:

  • 19 tables
  • An overview of the global market for contract research organization (CRO) services
  • Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2016, 2017, and projections of compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) through 2022
  • Analyses of the CRO market by services, trial phases, and geographical region
  • Coverage of all major therapeutic areas covered by CROs in the clinical trial process and the types of services they provide
  • Examination of the competitive landscape of the market, including mergers and acquisitions, and current pharma CRO contracts
  • Company profiles of key market players, including Charles River Laboratories, Icon Plc, Parexel, Pharmaceutical Product Development, and Quintiles
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown


  • Chiltern
  • Concord Biosciences
  • Covance
  • Icon Plc
  • Labcorp
  • MAPI

Chapter 1 Introduction

  • Global CRO Market Trends
  • Study Goals and Objectives
  • Reasons for Doing This Study
  • Scope of Report
  • Information Sources
  • Methodology
  • Geographic Breakdown
  • Analyst's Credentials
  • Custom Research
  • Related Reports

Chapter 2 Summary and Highlights

Chapter 3 Overview-Clinical Trial Process and CRO Functional Services

  • Clinical Trial Process and Stages
  • Pre-discovery
  • Drug Discovery
  • Preclinical
  • Clinical
  • Phase I
  • Phase II
  • Phase III
  • Post-Marketing Surveillance and Phase IV Studies
  • Regulatory Environment
  • FDA Regulation and Impact
  • The Declaration of Helsinki
  • CDISC Standards
  • Current Market Trends
  • Repurposing Existing Drugs for New Indications
  • Increased Competition through the Resurgence of the Generic Drug Market

Chapter 4 Global Market Overview

  • Global Clinical Trials Shifting toward Asia-Pacific

Chapter 5 Emerging Trends

  • Increasing Complexity of Clinical Trials
  • Small and Mid-sized Biopharma Innovation
  • Small Molecule Versus Biologics
  • Biosimilars
  • Adaptive Trial Design
  • Risk-Based Monitoring
  • Real World Evidence

Chapter 6 Competitive Landscape

  • Functional Service Provider Relationships
  • Offshoring
  • Therapeutic Areas in Drug Development
  • Immuno-Oncology
  • Current Pharma-CRO Contracts
  • Largest Therapeutic Areas Rely on Key CRO Expertise

Chapter 7 Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Recent Merger and Acquisition Activity
  • Quintiles IMS
  • LabCorp, Covance, and Chiltern
  • INC Research/Inventiv Health
  • ICON and MAPI
  • Parexel and Pamplona

Chapter 8 Company Profiles

  • Top 10 CROs
  • Charles River Laboratories
  • Concord Biosciences
  • Icon Plc
  • INC Research/Inventive Health
  • LabCorp/Covance
  • Parexel
  • Pharmaceutical Product Development
  • PRA Health Services
  • Quintiles
  • Wuxi Apptec

List of Tables
Summary Table: Global CRO Market Across the Clinical Trial Process, by Functional Service, Through 2022
Table 1: Global CRO Market, by Therapeutic Area, Through 2022
Table 2: Likelihood of Approval, by Major Disease Area/Phase
Table 3: Clinical Phase Description
Table 4: New Drug Approvals: New Drugs Entering the Market at an Increasing Pace Until Last Year, 2006-2017
Table 5: Global CRO Market, by Functional Services, Through 2022
Table 6: Increasing Complexity of Clinical Trials, by Design Characteristics in a Typical Clinical Study, 2002-2012
Table 7: Small Molecule and Biologics FDA Drug Approvals, 2010-2016
Table 8: Global CRO Market for FDA-Approved Small Molecule and Biologics Drugs, Through 2022
Table 9: Global CRO Market, by Therapeutic Area, Through 2022
Table 10: Key Players in Therapeutic Areas
Table 11: Pharma and CRO Partnership Alliances
Table 12: Surging CRO Deal Values, 2011-2017
Table 13: Pharma M&A and Capital Raising Deal Values Increasing Value of Deals, 2010-2016
Table 14: M&A Activity Among Pharma/CROs: Recent M&A Deals in Pharma Outsourcing Sector
Table 15: Deal Types in CRO Sector: Improving Capital Markets Leading to More IPOs
Table 16: Service Offerings, by Major CRO
Table 17: Quintiles’ Explosive Growth via Acquisitions, Through 2016
Table 18: Quintiles Key Financial and Synergistic Milestones During the Past Five Years

List of Figures
Summary Figure: Global CRO Market Across the Clinical Trial Process, by Functional Service, 2016-2022
Figure 1: Clinical Pipeline, by Development Phase, 2007-2016
Figure 2: Clinical Trial Outsourcing Share, by Functional Service, 2016
Figure 3: Drug Approval Timeline
Figure 4: Generic Drug Approvals and Filings in the U.S.,2015-2017
Figure 5: Average Cost for an Approved Drug, 1970-2010
Figure 6: Global CRO Market Size and Growth, 2015-2022
Figure 7: Pharma R&D Spending Continues at a Steady Pace, 2006-2022
Figure 8: Strong Prescription Drug Sales, 2014-2022
Figure 9: CRO is Penetrating Further into R&D Budgets, 2012-2017
Figure 10: Global CRO Functional Service Areas Market Share, by Type, 2016
Figure 11: Global CRO Clinical Trial Market Share, by Phase, 2016
Figure 12: Global CRO Competitor Market Share, by Company, 2017
Figure 13: Leading CROs’ Preclinical CRO Market Share, by Company, 2017
Figure 14: Leading CROs’ Clinical Market Share, by Company, 2017
Figure 15: Therapeutic Clinical Pipeline Share, by Therapeutic Area, 2017
Figure 16: Expanding Value of Outsourcing Deals Involving CROs, 2007-2017

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown



  • Chiltern
  • Concord Biosciences
  • Covance
  • Icon Plc
  • Labcorp
  • MAPI

All segments, including preclinical and post-approval, continue to grow solidly as well. The outlook for the industry remains extremely positive; with the proliferation of therapies for orphan drugs and precision-based medicines, clinical trials are becoming increasingly complex and are driving demand for sophisticated outsourcing partners with expertise in combination products, risk-based monitoring, disease registries, real-world evidence, and medical affairs. Expanding service offerings and capabilities remain a predominant strategy among CROs.

CROs obtain the lion’s share of their revenue from actual clinical trials. Discovery, preclinical and central lab services all represent strong areas of growth despite accounting for a smaller share of revenue.

The geographical distribution of clinical trials is slowly shifting from developed nations to emerging countries; rising costs of trials and difficulty in patient recruitment has led biopharma companies to shift toward regions such as Central and Eastern Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America for quicker patient recruitment and cost savings. The greater disease variation among developing countries also helps create more diverse population samples, particularly for rare disease studies.

Based on the indication, the oncology segment is the largest and one of the most rapidly growing within the CRO space. Pain management remains one of the faster growing and more lucrative disease areas, with new treatments for chronic and acute pain and rising investigational studies for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) and analgesic molecules driving this segment.

The dominant players in the industry are Quintiles IMS, Covance, PAREXEL, Charles River Labs and ICON. Mergers and acquisitions by these and other larger companies in this space continue at an unprecedented pace; high valuations along with the increasing need to become complete service providers are driving this trend.

Key drivers impacting CRO market growth include globalization of clinical trials, development of new treatments such as personalized medicine, augmenting evolution of technology and greater penetration of CROs into the clinical trial process. The demand or biogenetics and particularly biosimilars will be a clear driver going forward.

Current pharma R&D spending is being driven by precision-based medicines and immunotherapies for smaller populations, genetic therapies for oncology and rare disease treatment and generally more demanding and complex protocols for drug development.

The clinical trial environment continues to be tied to exorbitant costs as complex therapies requiring larger and more diverse samples are extending the time required and geographies involved to conduct a typical study. In an effort to contain these costs and shorten development timelines, pharma and biopharma firms are increasingly outsourcing many services associated with the development of today’s complex therapies to CROs.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
  • Charles River Laboratories
  • Chiltern
  • Concord Biosciences
  • Covance
  • Icon Plc
  • INC Research/Inventiv Health
  • Labcorp
  • MAPI
  • Pamplona
  • Parexel
  • Pharmaceutical Product Development
  • PRA Health Services
  • Quintiles IMS
  • Wuxi Apptec
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown