CRO Market Size

Report on Industry Size & Market Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 - 2029)

The report covers Preclinical CRO Market Revenue Overview and is segmented By Service Type (Clinical Research Services, Early-phase Development Services, Laboratory Services, Consulting Services, Regulatory Affairs, and Other Services), Therapeutic Areas (Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Central Nervous System Disorders, Immunological Disorders, Cardiovascular Diseases, Respiratory Disorders, Diabetes, and Other Therapeutic Areas), End User (Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Companies, Medical Device Companies, and Other End Users), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa, and South America). The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above segments.


Contract Research Organization Market Size

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Contract Research Organization Market Summary
Study Period 2019 - 2029
Base Year For Estimation 2023
CAGR 7.00 %
Fastest Growing Market Asia-Pacific
Largest Market North America
Market Concentration Medium

Major Players

Contract Research Organization Market Major Players

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order


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Contract Research Organization Market Analysis

The market for contract research organizations was valued at USD 44,049.76 million in the current year. It is expected to make USD 66,106.81 million in sales, which is a CAGR of 7.0% over the next few years.

The COVID-19 pandemic had a big effect on the contract research organization (CRO) market because clinical trials were still going on to find effective treatments and vaccines for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. For example, in January 2021, ICON PLC and Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech announced that they would work together to develop the investigational COVID-19 vaccine program that Pfizer and BioNTech were working on.As a part of this program, ICON worked at more than 153 sites in Europe, South Africa, the United States, and Latin America to recruit 44,000 participants for clinical trial studies. Besides, the number of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) among CROs saw an uptick in 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical Trials Arena said in April 2022 that there were 50 completed M&A deals last year, which is 21 more than in 2020, when there were only 29.There were 20 completed M&A CRO deals in the first half of 2021, with 30 such deals in the second half. After a pandemic, CROs will be able to use the lessons they learned from COVID-19 and adopt new technologies to improve data management, reduce staffing needs, and make patient monitoring easier.For example, a Frontiers Media S.A. article from April 2022 says that the use of AI technology helps SMEs turn COVID-19 challenges into chances to improve their performance and their chances of staying in business.Thus, due to the increased focus on vaccine development against COVID-19, there was an increase in clinical trials along with the adoption of emerging technologies, which boosted the CRO market.

The growth of the market is due to more money being spent on research and development, more R&D activities being outsourced, and more clinical trials.Pharmaceutical companies' bottom lines continue to be affected by things like patents that expire and let generic competitors enter the market and strict requirements from regulators.According to the Congressional Research Service update, by September 2022, global R&D spending will have significantly increased since 2000, rising from USD 675 billion to USD 2.4 trillion by 2020. Furthermore, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), in 2022, nearly USD 1.7 trillion will have been spent globally on R&D, which is a record high. Approximately 10 nations receive 80% of the money spent. Countries have committed to significantly boosting public and corporate R&D spending as well as the number of researchers by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Hence, with strong investments in R&D activities and a robust pipeline of therapeutics under development, the CRO market is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period.

The growth of the market is also being driven by the fact that CROs are offering more and more services and that collaborations are becoming more popular. For example, in September 2022, the Australian CRO for biotechs, Avance Clinical, grew into North America by buying the CRO partner company C3 Research Associates. This made it easy for biotech clients to move from early-phase studies to later-phase studies.Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. also bought Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC, a company that helps the biotech and biopharma industries, in December 2021.Thus, due to these factors, the market is expected to register significant growth over the forecast period.

However, the shortage of skilled professionals is expected to restrain market growth.

Contract Research Organization Market Trends

This section covers the major market trends shaping the Contract Research Organization Market according to our research experts:

The Early-phase Development Services Segment is Poised to Witness Robust Growth During the Forecast Period

With more and more drug patents expiring, generic versions of drugs are becoming more of a threat, and drug companies are under pressure to make up for the money they lose because of generics.R&D costs are going up because drug molecules are getting more complicated and regulations are getting stricter.Additionally, leading CROs have developed significant expertise in the field of early-phase development, and CROs are leveraging this expertise to offer highly efficient and accurate early-phase development services. CROs are also allowing small and midsize firms to enter the complex drug development process without significant investment in capital equipment. According to the March 2021 published article by Anju Life Sciences Software, high data quality, better safety decisions, reduced trial operation costs, and faster study execution are making early phase trials more successful. Thus, the early-phase development services segment is poised to register significant growth.

Additionally, growing company partnerships and increased clinical trial demand are expected to drive the segment. Furthermore, in June 2021, Cancer Research UK and Aleta Biotherapeutics signed an agreement to progress the early-phase clinical development of ALETA-001, their CAR-T cell engager. ALETA-001 has been developed to benefit people with B-cell lymphoma and leukemia whose disease has progressed after receiving CD19 CAR-T cell therapy. Thus, such factors are expected to boost the early-phase development services segment over the forecast period.

Contract Research Organization Market : Number of Clinical Trials, by Region, 2021

North America Captured the Largest Market Share and is Expected to Retain its Dominance During the Forecast Period

Major pharmaceutical companies are outsourcing R&D and clinical trials because of changes in reimbursement and competition from generic drugs. This is helping the growth of the CRO market in North America.The growth of the market in the region is due to the fact that pharmaceutical companies are spending more money on research and development to create new medicines.For instance, the article published by the National Library of Medicine in July 2022 reported that in 2021, overall pharmaceutical expenditures in the United States were USD 576.9 billion, an increase of 7.7% compared to 2020. Thus, the increasing pharmaceutical expenditure in the country is also bolstering the studied market's growth.

Additionally, according to Federal Research and Development (R&D) Funding: FY2022, funding for R&D is concentrated in a few federal departments and agencies. In FY 2021, five agencies received 93.0% of total federal R&D funding, with the Department of Health and Human Services receiving 27.6%. The largest dollar increases in R&D funding would be made to Health and Human Services, up to USD 7.7 billion (17.8%).

By and large, the presence of key players in the region and strategic collaborations by these companies are driving market growth. For instance, in February 2021, Parexel International partnered with Neogenomics to enable the application of Neogenomics' real-world genomics data in oncology clinical trials, thereby leading to increased efficiency in patient matching and optimizing trial design, site selection, clinical development, and translational research. Thus, the high R&D investment and initiatives by key players in the expansion of the product portfolio are expected to boost the development of new drugs, thus increasing the demand for outsourcing services.

Contract Research Organization Market : Growth Rate by Region

Contract Research Organization Industry Overview

The market for contract research organizations is fragmented because there are many companies around the world and in different regions. The competitive landscape includes an analysis of international as well as local companies that hold market shares and are well known, including IQVIA, ICON PLC, Charles River Laboratories, Envigo, and Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (Labcorp), among others.

Contract Research Organization Market Leaders


  2. IQVIA

  3. Charles River Laboratories

  4. Envigo

  5. Laboratoty Corporation of America Holdings (Labcorp)

*Disclaimer: Major Players sorted in no particular order

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Contract Research Organization Market News

  • February 2021: ICON PLC signed a final agreement to buy PRA Health Sciences Inc., which will add healthcare intelligence and clinical research to its list of services.
  • February 2021: Charles River Laboratories signed a final agreement to buy Cognate BioServices Inc., a cell and gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). This will increase Charles River's scientific capabilities in the fast-growing cell and gene therapy sector.

Contract Research Organization Market Report - Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions and Market Definition

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Market Drivers

      1. 4.2.1 Growing R&D Activities

      2. 4.2.2 Increasing Number of Clinical Trials

      3. 4.2.3 Growing Trend of Outsourcing and Advantages Associated With It

    3. 4.3 Market Restraints

      1. 4.3.1 Shortage of Skilled Professionals

    4. 4.4 Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.4.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.4.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.4.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.4.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.4.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

  5. 5. MARKET SEGMENTATION (Market Size by Value - USD million)

    1. 5.1 By Service Type

      1. 5.1.1 Clinical Research Services

        1. Phase I Clinical Research Services

        2. Phase II Clinical Research Services

        3. Phase III Clinical Research Services

        4. Phase IV Clinical Research Services

      2. 5.1.2 Early-phase Development Services

      3. 5.1.3 Laboratory Services

      4. 5.1.4 Consulting Services

      5. 5.1.5 Regulatory Affairs

      6. 5.1.6 Other Services

    2. 5.2 By Therapeutic Area

      1. 5.2.1 Oncology

      2. 5.2.2 Infectious Diseases

      3. 5.2.3 Central Nervous System (CNS) Disorders

      4. 5.2.4 Immunological Disorders

      5. 5.2.5 Cardiovascular Diseases

      6. 5.2.6 Respiratory Disorders

      7. 5.2.7 Diabetes

      8. 5.2.8 Other Therapeutic Areas

    3. 5.3 By End-User

      1. 5.3.1 Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Companies

      2. 5.3.2 Medical Device Companies

      3. 5.3.3 Other End-Users

    4. 5.4 Geography

      1. 5.4.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Mexico

      2. 5.4.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. France

        4. Italy

        5. Spain

        6. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.4.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. India

        4. Australia

        5. South Korea

        6. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.4.4 Middle East and Africa

        1. GCC

        2. South Africa

        3. Rest of Middle East and Africa

      5. 5.4.5 South America

        1. Brazil

        2. Argentina

        3. Rest of South America


    1. 6.1 Company Profiles

      1. 6.1.1 Charles River Laboratories

      2. 6.1.2 Envigo

      3. 6.1.3 ICON PLC

      4. 6.1.4 IQVIA

      5. 6.1.5 Laboratoty Corporation of America Holdings (Labcorp)

      6. 6.1.6 MedPace Holdings Inc.

      7. 6.1.7 PSI CRO AG

      8. 6.1.8 Thermo Fisher Scientific

      9. 6.1.9 SGS SA

      10. 6.1.10 Syneos Health

      11. 6.1.11 WuXi Pharmatech

      12. 6.1.12 Axcent Advanced Analytics (A3)

      13. 6.1.13 BIO Agile Therapeutics

    2. *List Not Exhaustive

**Subject to Availability
**Competitive Landscape Covers - Business Overview, Financials, Products and Strategies, and Recent Developments
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Contract Research Organization Industry Segmentation

As per the scope of this report, a contract research organization is a company that provides clinical trial services for the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. CROs range from large, international, full-service organizations to small, niche specialty groups. They can help their clients get a new drug or device from the idea stage to FDA marketing approval without the drug sponsor having to keep a staff for these services. The contract research organization market is divided into service types (clinical research services (phase I, phase II, and phase III clinical research services), early-phase development services, laboratory services, consulting services, regulatory affairs, and other services), therapeutic areas (oncology, infectious diseases, central nervous system disorders, immunological disorders, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory disorders, diabetes, and other therapeutic areas), end users (pharmaceutical companies), and other end users. The market report also covers the estimated market sizes and trends for 17 different countries across major regions globally. The report offers the value (in USD million) for the above segments.

By Service Type
Clinical Research Services
Phase I Clinical Research Services
Phase II Clinical Research Services
Phase III Clinical Research Services
Phase IV Clinical Research Services
Early-phase Development Services
Laboratory Services
Consulting Services
Regulatory Affairs
Other Services
By Therapeutic Area
Infectious Diseases
Central Nervous System (CNS) Disorders
Immunological Disorders
Cardiovascular Diseases
Respiratory Disorders
Other Therapeutic Areas
By End-User
Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Companies
Medical Device Companies
Other End-Users
North America
United States
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Middle East and Africa
South Africa
Rest of Middle East and Africa
South America
Rest of South America
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Contract Research Organization Market Research FAQs

The Global Contract Research Organization Market is projected to register a CAGR of 7% during the forecast period (2024-2029)

ICON PLC, IQVIA, Charles River Laboratories, Envigo and Laboratoty Corporation of America Holdings (Labcorp) are the major companies operating in the Global Contract Research Organization Market.

Asia-Pacific is estimated to grow at the highest CAGR over the forecast period (2024-2029).

In 2024, the North America accounts for the largest market share in Global Contract Research Organization Market.

The report covers the Global Contract Research Organization Market historical market size for years: 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. The report also forecasts the Global Contract Research Organization Market size for years: 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028 and 2029.

The emerging trends in the Contract Research Organization (CRO) Market are a) Virtual trials b) Remote monitoring c) Technology adoption for enhanced efficiency

Contract Research Organization Industry Report

The global Contract Research Organization (CRO) Services market is experiencing robust growth, fueled by the escalating demand for drug development outsourcing in therapeutic areas such as oncology, infectious diseases, and cardiology. This surge is supported by increased R&D expenditures and a higher number of clinical trials, particularly in emerging markets. North America leads in the CRO market due to its well-established pharmaceutical infrastructure and significant biotech investments. Similarly, the Asia-Pacific region shows strong growth, aided by favorable government policies and expanding R&D capabilities, while Europe remains a strong player with substantial healthcare investments. The market benefits from a transition to advanced digital and analytical solutions that enhance clinical trial efficiency, data integrity, and speed. However, challenges like intellectual property management, data privacy, and diverse regulatory landscapes persist. Despite these obstacles, the CRO market's growth trajectory continues, driven by complex pharmaceutical research needs and the rising prevalence of chronic diseases. The focus on precision and personalized medicine further opens new avenues for tailored research services, defining the cro market segmentation. For detailed insights into market size, share, and trends, access a comprehensive industry report from Mordor Intelligence™. Get a sample of this industry analysis as a free report PDF download.

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CRO Market Size & Share Analysis - Growth Trends & Forecasts (2024 - 2029)