The global contract research organization (CRO) market is estimated to be worth USD 76.6 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 127.3 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 10.7% from 2023 to 2028. Much of this growth is due to the need for novel clinical trial designs for cell and gene therapies and to the advent of hybrid models with CRO-CDMO partnerships. A look at the top five global CROs by 2022 revenues.
1. Thermo Fisher Scientific
Revenue: USD 22.5 billion (only for laboratory products and biopharma services).
HQ: Massachusetts, US
CEO: Marc Casper
Arising from the 2006 merger of Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific, Thermo Fisher Scientific has become a USD 30 billion conglomerate with various brands: Fisher Scientific, Applied Biosystems, Invitrogen, Thermo Scientific and Unity Lab Services and Patheon. With the 2021 acquisition of PPD, the company positioned itself as a global leader in clinical research services.
Notable recent development: Acquisition of CorEvitas for approximately USD 0.9 billion. “Highly complementary to our leading clinical research business, CorEvitas provides regulatory-grade, real-world evidence solutions to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with objective data and clinical insights to improve patient care and clinical outcomes,” said Thermo Fisher in second quarter results statement.
2. LabCorp Drug Development
Revenue: USD 14.9 billion
HQ: New Jersey, US
CEO: Paul R. N. Kirchgraber
Labcorp, a provider of comprehensive drug development solutions, completed its USD 6 billion acquisition of Covance in 2015 and went on to acquire LipoScience, Bode Technology Group, Sequenom, MNG Laboratories, and Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx), further strenghtening its position in the market.
Notable recent development: The planned spin-off of Fortrea, LabCorp’s Clinical Development business.
Revenue: USD 14.4 billion
HQ: North Carolina, US
CEO and Chairman: Ari Bousbib
Formed in 2016 from a merger between Quintiles and IMS Health, the company changed its name and became IQVIQ in 2017. Considered the largest CRO in the world, IQVIA operates in over 100 countries and provides end-to-end clinical and commercial service.
Notable recent development: The appointment of Richard Staub III, senior advisor to the Chairman and CEO, as president of IQVIA’s Research & Development Solutions (R&DS) business unit.
Revenue: USD 7.7 billion
HQ: Dublin, Ireland
CEO: Dr. Steve Cutler
Founded in 1990, ICON is a global provider of consulting, and outsourced development and commercialisation services with 46 locations across the world. In 2016, ICON partnered with Genomics England on the UK’s 100,000 Genomes Project and in recent years, ICON has aquired Symphony Clinical Research, MediNova, MolecularMD, MedPass International and PRA.
Notable recent development: A strategic partnership with LEO Pharma to scale clinical trial execution in dermatology.
5. WuXi Clinical
Value: USD 6.1 billion
HQ: Wuxi, China
CEO: Ge Li
WuXi Clinical, a wholly owned subsidiary of WuXi AppTec, is a global Contract Research Organization (CRO) founded in 2000 providing a comprehensive range of services in clinical development. WuXi has grown from a single lab into a global organisation with 30 sites around the world.
Notable recent development: WuXi’s site expansion with a new facility in its Wuxi city, China campus and in Middletown, Delaware.
Data source: Statista