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Top Ten Global CRO Companies

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CRO (Contract Research Organization) is mainly engaged in the design and consultation of clinical trial protocols and case reports, as well as trial supervision, data management, statistical analysis and submission of systematic evaluation results.

The global CRO market is still growing steadily. The current market size is about 40 billion U.S. dollars, with an average annual growth rate of about 10%. This is partly due to the follow-up of a large number of generic drugs after patent expiration, and the shrinking R&D capabilities worldwide. The huge research expenses before the launch of new drugs have forced drug developers to sway between the development of new drugs and the new use of old drugs, but either way will stimulate the development of CRO to a certain extent.

In my country, the CRO industry started relatively late, but its development momentum is strong. The superficial reasons can be explained as follows:

① China’s 1.4 billion population guarantees a sufficient number of subjects and cases, especially for rare diseases.

② Cheap labor reduces the process cost to a certain extent. The above two factors have attracted a large number of foreign companies such as AstraZeneca, Roche, and Pfizer to set up R&D centers in China.

This article counts and ranks the global TOP10 CRO companies. The main indicators examined are profitability, income ratio, expenditure ratio, service investment portfolio, and the final ranking is given in a weighted form.

Top 10 CROs 2016
Top 10 CROs 2016

First place: QuintilesIMS (Quintiles)

QuintilesIMS‘ global revenue of 6.8 billion US dollars in 2016, the company ranks first in the industry, and its revenue increased by 20% compared to the previous year. QuintilesIMS is an enterprise formed by the merger of Quintiles and IMS, with business scope covering more than 100 countries around the world, engaged in clinical and preclinical research.

Second place: LabCorp (Laboratory Group)

The company is headquartered in North Carolina. In 1995, the Roche Clinical Laboratory and the National Health Laboratory merged to form the company. It is currently the second largest independent clinical laboratory company in the United States. The company’s financial report sources are divided into two parts, LabCorp diagnostics and Covance drug development. Covance provides a full range of services from early drug research to market approval. Its profit accounts for 30.1% of corporate revenue, and LabCorp’s diagnostics department accounts for 69.9% of total revenue.

Third place: PAREXEL (Jingding Pharmaceutical)

PAREXEL ranks third in the list and second in business portfolio. The company’s business scope includes providing clinical research, clinical statistics, medical liaison, consulting, commercialization and other services throughout the entire biotechnology and medical device fields.

The company is currently collaborating with GSK to explore genomics drug development, and a partnership with American healthcare Optum to strengthen the clinical research process by using big data. The company strives to further expand its scope of capabilities to meet the growing clinical research needs of various client companies.

Fourth place: Pharmaceutical Product Development

PPD is a leading global contract research organization headquartered in Wilmington, North Carolina, USA, providing discovery, development and post-approval services, as well as comprehensive cooperative development plans. The fields involved include pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, academic and government affairs. The company has established 89 organizations in 47 countries and employs more than 19,000 people.


The company’s business focuses on providing clinical Phase I and IV research services for biopharmaceuticals and medical devices, and has 6,800 employees in 50 countries around the world. It can provide a variety of clinical research and development services, including clinical monitoring, researcher recruitment, subject recruitment, data management, and professional consulting.

Sixth place: PRA Health Sciences

PRA has more than 13,000 employees worldwide, providing comprehensive R&D services for all stages of clinical practice. PRA provides a wide range of solutions to meet the needs of different markets. Since its listing in 2014, the company has completed infrastructure projects in the UK, and it is expected that multiple clinical research assistant positions will be added in the next few years. The reason for ranking seventh is the company’s high expense ratio and low income ratio.

Seventh place: ICON

This Irish company is engaged in early drug development and clinical phase I-IV strategy, management, and project analysis services. The company’s net profit increased by 5.8%, and a series of mergers and acquisitions have been completed in recent years: including MediMedia Pharma Solutions and Aptiv Solutions. The company has reached a partnership with the British government’s genome project and provided IBM Watson with oncology research services. These collaborations will further expand the company’s business in the field of genome science and oncology research.

Eighth: Wuxi AppTec

As the only local company on this list, WuXi AppTec can provide a series of comprehensive laboratory R&D, research and production services to global pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, and medical device companies. Its service scope extends from drug discovery to market The whole process of transformation.

Ninth place: Charles River

As the world’s largest laboratory animal company, Charles River has more than 8,700 employees in 17 countries and regions including North America, Europe and Japan. The company has more than 130 experimental animals with clearly defined genetic and microbiological backgrounds, and has gradually become a major supplier of biomedical preclinical products and services, which can provide research models, genetic models, rodent surgery, and animal diagnosis , Pathology, toxicology, pharmacodynamic experiments, genetically modified animals, genetic testing, endotoxin monitoring, biological safety testing and other services. The company is divided into three financial reporting departments: test models and services, safety assessment, and manufacturing support.

Tenth place: Advent International

Advent, a private equity company, invested in inVentiv Health in 2016. At present, the company can provide complete clinical and commercial services. The company serves 90 countries and has more than 15,000 employees.

Only one local Chinese company entered the list this year-WuXi AppTec, which shows that there is still a lot of room for local CRO to improve. my country’s pharmaceutical industry is facing the pressure of upgrading and transformation. Under the background of the country’s drug price control and generic drug consistency evaluation policy, many uncompetitive companies will be eliminated, causing industry resources to be redistributed, and with the industry With more professionalism and more detailed differentiation, my country’s CRO industry will usher in new growth.

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Top 10 Global CRO Companies in 2021

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