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Top 10 Global CROs 2017

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The global contract research market is growing at a strong rate owing  to increasing patent expiration and declining R&D productivity.  Furthermore, increasing costs of new product development and revenue  loss due to generics have resulted in high demand for contract  researching of new biologics and compounds.  The global CRO market is  highly consolidated with the combined market share of the top-10  companies in this market estimated to be around 80% in 2016. This  consolidation can be attributed to the highly stringent nature of the  market with requirements of high capital investment. The leaders in this  market include a mix of public-listed and privately held organizations.
A ranking system was developed for the top-10 global clinical research  organizations. A score statistic was developed to determine the rank of  each organization. Revenues, scope of service portfolio, net income and  expenses ratios were the key input criteria used to calculate the score  statistic for and every organization was assigned a score for each of  these key input criteria. Different weights were assigned to each rank. A  weighted sum of the scores was used to arrive at the final score  statistic for each organization. The final score statistic represents  the financial health, competitive advantage, and activity status of each  organization in the clinical trials domain.

Ranking of Top-10 Global CRO

Ranking of Top-10 Global CRO
Note: *Estimated, **2015, Y= present
Sources: Annual reports and SEC filings.
Top 10 CROs 2016
Top 10 CROs 2016


Quintiles recorded its revenues at USD 7.8 billion, an increase by  nearly 20% from previous year. The company is ranked first among the top  CROs across the globe owing to its wide portfolio of clinical research  and post-clinical research services. Formed through the merger of  Quintiles and IMS Health, QuintilesIMS’s over 50,000 employees conduct  operations in more than 100 countries and is listed on the New York  Stock Exchange (NYSE).


The company became the second largest player in the ranking post its  acquisition of Covance in 2015. The Company reports its business in two  segments, LabCorp Diagnostics (LCD) and Covance Drug Development (CDD).  Covance Drug Development is a provider of end-to-end drug development  services from early-stage research to regulatory approval and beyond. In  2016, LCD and CDD contributed 69.9% and 30.1%, respectively, of net  revenues to the Company.

PAREXEL International Corporation  

The company is ranked third in the list and has a second largest service  portfolio. The company provides a broad range of expertise in clinical  research, clinical logistics, medical communications, consulting,  commercialization and advanced technology products and services to the  pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries.

Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC  

PPD is a privately held organization with a strong portfolio of  integrated drug development, laboratory and lifecycle management  services including clinical, pre-clinical, post-clinical, and  commercialisation services. The company has 89 offices in 47 countries  with more than 19,000 employees.


The company is focused primarily on Phase I to Phase IV clinical  development services for the biopharmaceutical and medical device  industries. The company has approximately 6,800 employees in 50  countries across six continents. The company offers a variety of  clinical development services, including global studies, clinical  monitoring, investigator recruitment, patient recruitment, data  management, specialized consulting services, scientific exploratory  medicine amongst others.

PRA Health Sciences, Inc.  

The company provides clinical trial expertise using clinical development  platform includes approximately 70 offices across North America,  Europe, Asia, Latin America, South Africa, Australia and the Middle East  and over 13,000 employees worldwide. The company ranked seventh in the  list, owing to one of the highest expense ratios and low income ratios.


The Ireland based company specialize in the strategic development,  management and analysis of programs that support all stages of the  clinical development process – from compound selection to Phase I-IV  clinical studies.  Net revenues for the company increase 5.8%, from 2015  to 2016 owing to continued organic growth and acquisition of ClinicalRM  in 2016.


The Chinese company is a contract researcher for most of the largest  pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies and many smaller  companies. It portfolio includes small molecule R&D and  manufacturing, biologics R&D and manufacturing, cell therapy and  gene therapy R&D and manufacturing, medical device testing, and  molecular testing and genomics. The company’s platform is enabling  nearly 3,000 innovative collaborators from more than 30 countries to  bring innovative healthcare products.


The company has a diverse portfolio of discovery and safety assessment  services, both Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and non-GLP, to support  target identification and drug development model. The company has three  reporting segments: Research Models and Services (RMS), Discovery and  Safety Assessment (DSA), and Manufacturing Support (Manufacturing).

Advent International  

Advent, a private equity firm, acquired inVentiv Health in 2016. The  company provides comprehensive and integrated clinical and commercial  outsourcing services to the biopharmaceutical industry. The company has  more than 15,000 healthcare professionals servicing clients in 90  countries.

Sources: Annual reports and SEC filings.

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