Canadian Manufacturing

Post-pandemic contract research organization market to Reach US$63.83B by 2024: report

Hybrid clinical trials leveraging safety-focused, direct-to-consumer logistical solutions are taking center stage, ensuring research continuity

September 8, 2020  by CM Staff

Post-pandemic Contract Research Organization Market to Reach $63.83 Billion by 2024, Says Frost & Sullivan

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Hybridization of Clinical Trial Designs Reviving Global CRO Market Post-pandemic; 2019-2024, reveals that hybrid clinical trials and remote patient monitoring are key trends driving the global contract research organization (CRO) market.

However, with the increased threat of COVID-19 and worldwide lockdowns in effect, the CRO market is experiencing interruptions in ongoing clinical trials and delays in new trials. Recovery is expected to commence from 2023; although it will be staggered, it will take revenue to the original growth trajectory by 2024–2025. As per the revised forecast after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the market is estimated to garner revenue of US$63.83 billion by 2024 from US$43.03 billion in 2019, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.2%.

“Due to the impact of the coronavirus, many large pharmaceutical companies have placed new trials on hold and numerous small, mid-size, and large enterprises have suspended ongoing ones, thereby demonstrating the magnitude of the disruption,” said Unmesh Lal, healthcare industry principal at Frost & Sullivan, in a prepared statement. “Going forward, to minimize the adverse effect of the pandemic, organizations such as site management organizations (SMOs) and patient recruitment organizations (PROs), that operate traditionally, will have to explore collaboration opportunities with emerging virtual trial platform vendors, eRecruitment providers, and remote monitoring solutions providers to expand the capability to support distributed/hybrid CT models.”

Lal added: “Owing to COVID-19, pharmaceutical companies’ revised research and development (R&D) spending is expected to decrease by 2%–3% in comparison to the original forecast. This will affect outsourcing to CROs and further decrease revenue across both segments—drug discovery and preclinical. Further, from a regional perspective, North America and Europe will be the most affected. However, rapid recovery is anticipated due to the proliferation of new clinical trial approaches/models, which make use of virtual trial tools and evolving regulatory policies. Similarly, Asia-Pacific (APAC) will also recover when sites go online as the pandemic eases. The rest of the world (ROW), however, will see a slow recovery period because of correspondingly slower adoption of clinical trial IT solutions.”


Hybrid trials are taking center stage during the COVID-19 pandemic, presenting immense growth prospects for CRO market participants by:

  • Enabling uninterrupted trials and cost savings of 15%–20%.
  • Focusing on long-term collaborations that offer substantial cost advantages with 8%-13% savings across different trial phases.
  • Leveraging new technologies, such as risk-based monitoring, eConsent, wearables, and telemedicine patient visits for virtual trials.
  • Implementing the direct-to-patient model to ensure the continuity of clinical supplies by partnering with supply chain specialists.