Who are the dominant contract research organizations?
Independent contract research organizations (CROs) serve many pharmaceutical companies and avoid the need for them to have their own laboratories, do their own research or organize, conduct and analyze their own clinical trials.
CROs are becoming more numerous because of the costs involved in producing new drugs compounded by the loss of revenue for drug companies due to generics. Still, reports Luca Dezzani in IgeaHub, the largest ten of them control 80 percent of the research market. Leaders include both public-listed and privately-held organizations.
These top ten companies are now being compared using a “score statistic” that looks at income, range of services offered and expense-to-income ratios, among other factors. A score is given for each parameter that is measured, and the scores are added up to arrive at a final value for each company.
Quintiles IMS is ranked first on the list. Its income last year was $7.8 billion, which represented almost 20 percent growth from a year earlier. A merger of Quintiles and IMS Health, the combined company has more than 50,000 employees and is active in 100 countries.
Second is Laboratory Corporation of America, which is made up of two divisions, LabCorp Diagnostics (LCD) and Covance Drug Development (CDD). The second unit is involved with new drug production from early research through FDA approval.
Parexel International Corporation is third. It provides services for clinical trials, communications and consulting to the pharmaceutical and therapeutic device sectors.
Next comes Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), which offers research, clinical and patient management services. PPD has 19,000 employees and is found in 47 countries.
Inc Research Holdings also serves the pharmaceutical and therapeutic device sectors. It offers clinical trials and recruiting of both patients and researchers, consulting and data access. It has 6,800 employees and is found in 50 countries.
PRA Health Sciences, which provides clinical trials, has more than 13,000 employees, working from 70 offices around the world. The company ranks seventh on the list.
Icon Public Limited, located in Ireland, is involved with drug development from early laboratory research through clinical trials. Last year it grew by adding a subsidiary, Clinical RA, and its net income grew by 5.8 percent.
Wuxi Pharmatech (Cayman) Inc., a China-based CRO, has a broad spectrum of services including basic biology and drug research and development, gene therapy, cell therapy, testing of therapeutic devices and genomics. It has 3,000 employees in 30 countries.
Charles River Laboratories International offers drug development and lab safety services. It has a diverse portfolio that supports target identification and drug development.
Advent International grew in 2016 by adding InVentiv Health. The combined company provides a wide range of services to the pharmaceutical sector. It has more than 15,000 employees in 90 countries.
Consolidation has been prevalent among CROs during the last few years. This phenomenon “can be attributed to the highly stringent nature of the market with requirements of capital investment,” according to Dezzani.