A new report from Frost & Sullivan, Global Contract Research Organization (CRO) Market, Forecast to 2024, projects 7.9% growth rate for outsourced trial management, from $45.8 billion in 2018 to $71.7 billion in 2024. This is despite a decline in the actual number of industry-sponsored trials. The CRO revenue numbers represent several confounding factors: how much the pharma industry is willing to outsource (a growing percentage); new research targets (such as the booming cellular and genetic therapies field); small initial studies vs. large late-stage ones; and the impact of technology on trial design, ranging from observational studies based on newly available electronic health records to the impact of AI on drug candidates and therapy targets.
About 40% of trials are currently being conducted in Europe, while 36% are in North America, says the report.
The decline in trial startups “is owing to the rise of predictive analytics techniques which assess the probability of success or failure of clinical trials,” says Kamaljit Behara, senior analyst at F&S. “Several key late-stage trials are facing withdrawal/ suspension from big pharma players there by directly impacting the clinical trial volume. This trend reflects the implication for CRO industry as well.”
The report calls out growth opportunities for the CROs in these areas:
• Integrating technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain to promote collaborative research models and optimize the drug discovery process.
• Adopting eClinical solutions, virtual clinical trials, and adaptive trial designs for better efficiency.
• Collaborating with specialized vendors to manage supply chains across trial locations.
• Venturing into therapy areas such as rare diseases and neurology to gain a competitive edge.
Global Contract Research Organization (CRO) Market, Forecast to 2024 (PA82-52) is available from Frost & Sullivan.