Global Contract Research Organization (CRO) Services Market Surges Ahead with an 8% CAGR by 2026

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The level of outsourcing to CROs varies by function and is largest in the laboratory testing, clinical trial, and post-approval stages when compared to the discovery and pre-clinical stages. The ratio of outsourcing is proportional to the complexity and regulatory expertise necessary at each level. The pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries typically outsource to CROs for the following reasons:

• Positive return on R&D investments

• Lack of internal capabilities (esp. small biopharma companies)

• Growing 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

CROs are proactively shifting site operations to decentralized/virtual trials wherever practicable to protect the integrity and regulatory compliance of current studies.

“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

Full-Service CROs/One-Stop Shops are becoming more popular in the market.

Due to the complexities of drug development, biopharma companies require a full-service CRO solution throughout the drug development lifecycle. CROs are progressively providing scalable services, specialized technology, and a global presence in addition to the variety of services (pre-clinical, clinical, and commercialization).

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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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