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Why the CRO market is expected to reach over $110 Billion by 2028

​What is a CRO?

A Contract Research Organization (CRO) offers a range of outsourcing services to Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device companies with their main purpose being the planning, execution, coordination and development of a clinical trial. The CRO market can be broken down into different segments from early phase services, clinical research services, laboratory services and post-approval services.

Why we are seeing growth in the CRO market?

The primary contributor for the growth in the CRO market is due to the increased surge in R&D expenditures - companies keeping their Clinical Trials & Operations internally are now looking to shift and outsource their entire clinical function. Clinical Research is pivotal in developing medicines and diagnostics to fight/combat a number of deadly diseases such as COVID-19. Examples of this are with Top Pharma companies like Pfizer, J&J and GSK who outsource a large portion of their COVID-19 studies to CRO’s which has directly led to growth within the Global CRO market.

 Mergers & Acquisitions:

Mergers and acquisitions within the CRO space are very common. In recent years, there have been some incredible mergers such as INC Research & InVentiv Health for an estimated $7.4 Billion to create Syneos Health. This has then led to Syneos Health acquiring the North American CRO Synteract in 2020 for around $400million. On top of that, Thermo Fisher recently acquired Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD) for $17.4 Billion in 2021; making this one of the largest acquisitions in recent times.

What does the future look like in the CRO world?

In conclusion, the rise in recent R&D expenditure and CRO Mergers & Acquisitions means the future for the CRO world is incredibly exciting. With more and more Pharma, Biotechnology & Medical Device companies outsourcing their Clinical Trials to CRO’s, we expect to see further acquisitions in the industry and growth across the CRO world as a direct result.


Mantell Associates is a specialist Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences Head-Hunting firm. To find out how we can assist with your business requirements, contact Lewis Davis on +44 (0)20 3778 0990 or lewis.davis@mantellassociates.com.