CRO’s Move to Fill the Gap

Contract Research Organizations growth and consolidation year in review.

For the past decade or so it’s been widely acknowledged that outsourcing is integral to the industry’s development value chain. This demand for R&D services is prompting contract research organizations (CROs) to expand and organize their operations to be better strategic partners to their customers.

Looking over the CRO’s that made headlines over the last 12 months, BioSpectrum Asia reviewed the expansions, mergers and acquisitions of the CRO Industry’s top companies in response to the growing propensity of outsourcing R&D efforts to cost-efficient partners.

Noteworthy was Charles River Microbial Solutions’ partnership with Microbiologics (a source for ready-to-go microorganisms). According to the report, Charles River will leverage Microbiologics’ technology to better preserve, store and manufacture customers isolates using a customized quality control reagent kit. Charles River also recently launched a strategic partnership with Nimbus Therapeutics to advance programs addressing immunology, metabolic disorders and oncological disease areas from discovery to IND.

The recent move by PAREXEL, acquiring The Medical Affairs Company (TMAC) reveals how demonstrating therapeutic value of a potential drug is now a development imperative. Providing full-service clinical contract services including a medical science liaison and clinical nurse support, TMAC will help PAREXEL get hard data on effectiveness and help it “lead clinically robust” conversations on a peer-to-peer basis with all stakeholders.

WuXi was also active, acquiring HD Biosciences, a company focused on preclinical discovery, as well as Crelux, another pre-clinical specialist and structure-based drug discovery company in Munich. WuXi also partnered with the National Heart Centre Singapore and public  private partnership SingHealth Duke-NUS, to launch a precision medicine initiative to fight cardiovascular disease.

Other mentions included INC Research’s merger agreement with inVentiiv Health “to create a leading global biopharmaceutical solutions organization” designed to leverage “commercial insights to inform the clinical trial process and make them more efficient and effective.” The report also noted the INC Research has more than tripled its headcount since 2015.

Lastly, echoing PAREXEL, Pharmaceutical Product Development put together its medical affairs research operations (MARO) group with Evidera, an evidence-based solutions provider to help the company demonstrate the “real-world effectiveness, safety and value of biopharmaceutical and biotechnology products.”


Steve Kuehn

Steve offers the life science industry insight and perspective from his more than 30 years of editorial, corporate and agency communications experience. Drawing from tenure as a lead communicator and media relations director for one of world’s largest technology and engineering companies, as well the editorial leadership of industry-leading B2B journals serving the energy, transportation and pharmaceutical sectors, including Pharmaceutical Manufacturing magazine, Steve delivers brand strategy, market-moving content and decision support. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Ohio University.