The Contract Research Organisation (CRO) industry is constantly changing and growing due to various key factors like a growing healthcare sector, research funds, a growing patient population worldwide and an increase in government support for research and development (R&D). According to the latest research, the global demand for Contract Research Organisation’s market size and share is expected to exceed around the US$65.5 billion mark by the year 2028. This means that the CRO industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 6.4% during the period of 2022-2028. The CRO market is further being transformed by the adjustment to using digital data-capturing software instead of paper-based records. 

The following is an overview of the current CRO market and trends: 

COVID-19 Pandemic Inspiration for Partnerships & Drug Development 

The ongoing COVID-19 worldwide pandemic has caused new agreements and partnerships between various research institutes and pharmaceutical companies, and the outsourcing of drug development processes. This has benefitted all sectors of the pharmaceutical contract research industry, including CROs. 

Increase in Clinical Research Services 

The Contract Research Organisation sector is split into the following categories: Early Phase Development Services, Clinical Research Services, Laboratory Services and Regulatory Consulting Services. The Clinical Research Services segment is expected to increase due to the rising frequency of chronic diseases and a high demand for effective medical treatments. 

By 2028, the oncology segment is also predicted to increase due to the rising number of cancer cases around the world. 

North America Dominance 

The market for CROs in North America is predicted to increase during the period of 2022-2028. This is due to the high number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies, a busy drug research industry and a well-developed healthcare system. These industries have an increased focus on outsourcing clinical trials for the treatment of various diseases which will drive the market size in North America. 

Strong Prescence in Europe 

The CRO industry in Europe is the second-largest market in the world and is expected to remain that way during the period from 2022-2028. European pharmaceutical companies are increasingly relying on contract research groups for increased efficiency and productivity in an environment of rising healthcare costs. 

Increased Funding 

Larger amounts of money is being set aside for research and development in the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors. This extra funding will go towards research and will result in many benefits for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, such as new treatments and medical devices. 

Growing Demand for CROs 

There will be an increase in the demand for CROs due to changing global market tendencies and more people learning about the benefits of CROs like businesses being protected. All these factors will help CROs grow to new heights. 

Focus on Niche CROs 

CROs with a more niche focus are increasingly in demand to meet the specific requirements of clinical trials. In particular, biotech companies have preferred to outsource specific tasks of clinical trials to smaller CRO’s. 

E-Clinical Technology 

E-clinical technologies are becoming utilised more by CROs who are recognising their many benefits. CROs are using software and platforms that improve how they track and report participant outcomes, share and control data and manage regulatory information. 

Increase in Biosimilars 

Drug developers rely heavily on CROs throughout the approval process of biosimilars (a medication that is close in structure to a biologic medicine). This trend will continue to grow, particularly in North America, as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have expedited the regulatory process for biosimilars.

Increase in Partnsership Agreements 

CROs have begun to establish strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. This allows for an improved synergy between companies who are collaborating on laboratory research, and best practices. 

Growth in Safety Assessment 

There continues to be a strong demand for CROs to carry out safety assessments as a response to an increase in funding for companies and early-stage pipelines.