How do You Decide Which CRO to Use?

2 - 3 mins Minutes

Let’s talk about relationships.Working in recruitment, we know (better than most) how crucia...

By Georgia Cowderoy

Division Director

Let’s talk about relationships.

Working in recruitment, we know (better than most) how crucial business relationships are. When engaging with any business partner, from a staffing & recruitment company to a CRO, you want to work with a company that takes the time to understand your needs.

That brings us to our second key take away from CTO Southern California 2020…


Relationships matter. 

Traditionally companies only outsourced late-phase drug development to clinical research organisations and conducted the early-phase innovation, problem-solving and testing in-house. However, over the last decade, the market has shifted, and spending on CROs has grown by 15% annually (surpassing the 11% rate for overall spending on drug development).

Companies are under pressure to expand and diversify their R&D pipelines; particularly large pharmaceuticals facing patent expiration and competition from generics companies. To develop new molecules quickly and under strict budgets, pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and medical technology companies are outsourcing services much earlier in the drug life cycle. This then frees up resources to focus on core research and pipeline development.

As the demand for CRO services has grown, so has the market. It’s now valued at over $36.27 billion and is projected to reach to $56.34 billion by 2023 - that's a compound annual growth rate of 7.6%! We've also seen the market begin to diversify as boutique CROs, which focus on niche therapy areas and locals, starting to emerge. 

This was particularly evident at Clinical Operations in Oncology Trials Southern California where we met professionals from a wide variety of CROs, including a company who specialise in salvaging trials that are on the brink of collapse. Their expertise, innovative technology, testing equipment and experience in accelerating the development process are unparalleled. 

Working with the right CRO adds value to a sponsor, providing them access to resources they don't have in-house. However, many sponsors work with the same CROs time and time again, regardless of the individual project needs. 

The question posed at CTO was, is that a good thing? Is the current CRO you're working with best suited to support the trial's requirements?

Aside from cost and quality, relationships are key. Companies are looking for partners that are not only capable of doing the work but can also collaborate with their team; making suggestions, guiding processes and asking pertinent questions about the trial. That's why the most successful partnerships are built on communication, flexibility and experience. 

More often than not, the boutique, newer players are better placed to understand the relevant processes, can offer more flexibility and will have a team with in-depth, niche expertise. After all, a CRO is only as good as its team (a bit like choosing a recruitment company actually…).

Missed our first blog about CTO Southern California 2020? You can check it out here.

For more information on the clinical operations market or how we support CROs (and their recruitment strategy) get in touch!

Book in a call with one of the team about your hiring needs.

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