Contract Research Organization (CRO) Market Size By Service Type (Early Phase Development Services {Discovery Services, Chemistry, Manufacturing & Control (CMC), Pre-clinical Services [Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics (PK/PD), Toxicology Testing Services]}, Clinical Research Services {Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, Phase IV}, Laboratory Services {Bioanalytical Testing Services, Analytical Testing Services [Physical Characterization, Raw Material Testing, Batch Release Testing, Stability Testing]}, Consulting Services), By Therapeutic Area (Oncology, Clinical Pharmacology, Cardiology, Infectious Disease, Neurology, Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Ophthalmology), By End-use (Pharmaceutical & Biopharmaceutical Companies, Medical Device Companies, Academic Institutes), Industry Analysis Report, Regional Outlook, Application Potential, Price Trends, Competitive Market Share & Forecast, 2021 – 2027

Published Date: Apr 2021  |  Report ID: GMI3012  |  Authors: Sumant Ugalmugle, Rupali Swain

Report Format: PDF   |   Pages: 253   |   Base Year: 2020

Summary Table of Contents Industry Coverage Methodology

Industry trends

Contract Research Organization Market size was valued at over USD 43.9 billion in 2020 and is estimated to grow at a 7.8% CAGR between 2021 and 2027. Growing demand for clinical trials in emerging countries coupled with increasing prevalence of chronic diseases is escalating the market growth. Also, the market is driven by rising number of biologics and demand for CRO to conduct clinical trials. Furthermore, over past few years, market has started booming due to shifting trend of CRO’s role towards secured services. The secured services include preclinical and clinical testing, discovery as well as regulatory approval, thereby enhancing the market value.

Contract Research Organization Market Overview

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Contract research organization (CRO), also known as a clinical research organization, is a company that provides support to the pharmaceutical, medical devices and biotechnology industries in the form of research services outsourced on contract basis. They offer services such as preclinical research, clinical research, clinical trial management, commercialization and pharmacovigilance among others. Also, CROs are designed to reduce costs for companies developing new drugs and medicines that are used to treat various disease conditions.

COVID-19 outbreak had minimal effect on the contract research organization market. According to the recent survey, only 3% of the CROs were closed or suspended operations. Therefore, large proportion of CROs, accounting for 67%, were open and fully operational and another 30% were open, but partially staffed and partially operational.

Rising number of clinical trials in emerging countries will spur the industry growth

Advantages associated with clinical trials that are being conducted in emerging economies will fuel the contract research organization market revenue. The advantages include admittance to patients with diseases, companies sponsor studies accordingly and patient willingness & interest in clinical trials. The above-mentioned willingness is mainly owing to the result of access to care that varies to those obtained in the U.S. or Western Europe. Patients are voluntarily available, and costs of conducting trials in emerging economies are lower. Thus, due to such factors, various CROs companies opt for emerging economies to conduct trials, thereby fostering the market demand. Additionally, pharmaceutical firms are gradually outsourcing research activities to private contract research organizations (CROs) and academic institutes that will further boost the industry expansion.

Intellectual property issues may slow down the CRO market

Intellectual property issues at several points in technology transfer and institutional research can restrain the market share. The pharmaceutical companies that are innovator for product are obligatory to submit clinical assessment data concerning safety and efficacy to respective national governing authorities to get market approval for novel drugs. Therefore, there could be quite burdensome such as issues concerning the validity of the patent and provisions for pre- and post-grant disagreement among others. Also, there could be possible postponement in the judicial procedure that can slow down the patent grant, thereby hindering the contract research organization market progression.

Presence of governmental bodies for clinical research services, and advantages associated with phase III segment will foster the segment growth

Contract Research Organization Market Share

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Clinical research services segment in the contract research organization market accounted for USD 25.2 billion in 2020 and is projected to showcase an 8% growth rate by 2027. The Human Studies Review Committee (HSRC) or Institutional Review Board (IRB) supervises and reviews professionalism in clinical research. Also, these bodies are responsible for reviews and command professionalism in clinical research. Thus, presence of such government bodies to ensure patient safety in clinical research service segment will impel the market growth. 

The Phase III segment captured 37.2% of the CRO market share in 2020. The focus of phase III clinical trials is to confirm and demonstrate the preliminary evidence gathered in the previous trials that the drug is beneficial, safe and offers effective treatment for the intended indication. Also, phase III clinical trials determine if the combination of drugs or new drugs are better or equivalent to the standard of care.

Increasing clinical activities for oncology disease treatment along with presence of various CROs operating in the field of oncology will influence the segment expansion

Contract research organization market for oncology segment is expected to reach USD 41.2 billion by 2027. Growing prevalence of cancer across the globe will ultimately increase the clinical trial activities and new drug development for disease treatments, thereby boosting the market progression. Also, rise in the number of oncology CRO services will significantly uptake the segment revenue.

Pharma & biotech companies are developing new vaccines and medicine to treat and prevent various diseases that will spur the segment demand

Pharmaceutical & biopharmaceutical companies in the CRO market are estimated to attain a CAGR of 8.4% through 2027 led by increasing prevalence of various chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiac disease, neurological and infectious disease. Also, rising investment of pharma and biopharma companies in the development of novel drugs will upsurge the demand for CRO services. Furthermore, with the growing government support, the pharma and biotech companies are outsourcing clinical trials to develop new vaccines and medicines. This may potentially help in treating and preventing diseases including COVID-19. Thus, increasing demand for CRO services will supplement the industry growth.

R&D funding and advancements in IT have led tremendous development in clinical trials that will create growth opportunities for the North America region

Global Contract Research Organization (CRO) Market

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North America contract research organization market size was USD 19 billion in 2020. Increasing focus of pharmaceutical companies to outsource clinical trials for treatment of various disease conditions is predicted to spur the regional growth. Additionally, growing investment in R&D activities will augment industry demand during the forecast timeframe.

Adoption of business strategies will pave growth opportunities for companies operating in the market

Prominent leaders operating in the CRO market include Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, IQVIA, Pharmaceutical Product Development and PRA Health Science, PAREXEL International and Syneos Health among others. New service launches, partnerships and collaboration are the most adopted business strategies to sustain the market position.

Some of the recent industry developments:

  • In January 2020, LabCorp and Covance launched extensive preclinical, clinical and post-approval cell and gene therapy development solutions. The solutions are designed to reduce risk and time for sponsors at each phase and across the full continuum of therapy development. This strategy is expected to boost its service offering in the CRO market and strengthen service portfolio.
  • In May 2019, WuXi AppTec announced that it has acquired Pharmapace, Inc., a U.S. based clinical research services company with expertise of providing high quality biometrics services for all phases of clinical trials, regulatory submissions, and post marketing support. The acquisition aimed to focus on growing its core biometrics competences and integrate with WuXi Clinical’s other clinical development services This acquisition enabled company to enhance its service offerings and market position as well as outreach to untapped geographies.

The contract research organization (CRO) market research report includes an in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecast in terms of revenue in USD from 2016 to 2027, for the following segments:

Market, By Service Type

  • Early phase development services
    • Discovery services
    • Chemistry, manufacturing & control (CMC)
    • Preclinical services
      • Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics (PK/PD)
      • Toxicology services
      • Others
  • Clinical research services
    • Phase I
    • Phase II
    • Phase III
    • Phase IV
  • Laboratory services
    • Bioanalytical testing services
    • Analytical testing services
      • Physical Characterization
      • Raw Material Testing
      • Batch Release Testing
      • Stability Testing
      • Others
  • Regulatory consulting services

Market, By Therapeutic Area

  • Oncology
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Cardiology
  • Infectious disease
  • Neurology
  • Gastroenterology & Hepatology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Others

Market, By End-use

  • Pharmaceutical & Biopharmaceutical Companies
  • Medical Device Companies
  • Academic Institutes

The above information is provided for the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • UK
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • India
    • Japan
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
  • Middle East & Africa
    • South Africa
    • Saudi Arabia


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

The market revenue for contract research organization surpassed USD 44 billion in 2020 and will record a CAGR of 7.8% through 2027.
The overall industry size from clinical research services was valued at more than USD 25.2 billion in 2020 and will grow at an 8% rate by 2027.
The oncology segment will register a revenue share of USD 41.2 billion through 2027 with the presence of various CROs working in the oncology field.
North America accounted for a revenue share of USD 19 billion in 2020 and will grow with increasing R&D investments and developments in IT.

Premium Report Details

  • Published Date: Apr 2021
  • Pages: 253
  • Tables: 390
  • Charts / Figures: 15
  • Companies covered: 15
  • Countries covered: 14

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