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Sponsor Company Size Influences Contract Research Activity


Guy Tiene Strategic Content Director, That’s Nice / Nice Insight


Due to the continued global economic recovery and rising consump- tion of advanced medicines around the world, drug manufacturers of all sizes have increased their investments in innovation, leading to burgeoning pipelines and near-record-level approval rates by FDA. That has led to a significant need for research support. Indeed, the latest estimates from TechNavio (January 2015) have the bio/pharma contract research services market growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.83%. According to the 2016 Nice Insight CRO Outsourcing Survey of bio/pharma professionals (n=586), 56% of respondents indicate that they spent more than $50 million annually on services provided by contract research organizations (CROs) in 2015, up from 23 to 24% for the period 2012-2014. There are, however, numerous differences in the preferences, needs and expectations for emerging, small, mid-sized and large bio/pharma companies.


Survey Demographics


The CRO outsourcing survey includes responses of 586 outsourcing- facing pharmaceutical and biotechnology executives, with the ma- jority (37%) of survey participants acting as key decision-makers (holding executive/management positions) in their organizations. Professionals with positions in operations and engineering (4%); R&D, formulation and analytical (15%); and development, production and manufacturing (5%) functions are also well represented. As importantly, the new CRO survey is truly global in nature, with 61% of respondents from North America, 20% from Asia and 19% from Europe. It also includes input from representatives of biopharmaceutical and


pharmaceutical companies of all sizes – large (>$5 billion in annual sales – 39%), medium ($500 million to $5 billion – 41%), small ($100 to $500 million – 14%) and emerging (<$100 million – 6%).


These statistics clearly suggest that the results of the new 2016 Nice Insight CRO Outsourcing survey should be highly indicative of the conditions in the global pharmaceutical CRO sector. In addition, the breadth of companies represented in the survey makes it possible to analyze the preferences, needs and expectations of drug manufacturers of different sizes.


Current Outsourcing Levels


For instance, while on average 39% of survey respondents currently outsource to CROs and contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs), the percentage or participants from large and medium companies that do so is much higher (45% and 40%, respectively) than those for respondents from emerging and small bio/pharma companies (29% and 20%, respectively). On the other hand, more survey particpants working for emerging and small companies than representing medium and large companies said that their firms only outsource to CROs (55% and 45% vs. 35% and 30%, respectively).


There are also differences in the makeup of current and future pipelines as a function of company size. According to survey participants, approximately 60% of large bio/pharma companies have small-molecule generics and new biologic entities (NBEs) in their pipelines compared to 55% and 51% with new chemical entities


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