Contract research on the rise

The global economic crisis has got most businesses pinching pennies just to stay afloat, and the drug development industry is no exception. But at least one area of the biotechnology sector -- contract research organizations (CROs) -- is on the rise. Image: Wikimedia commons, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image LibraryCROs first showed up in the biotech industry in the late 1970s and quickly took on a significant role in research and development (R&D), eventually ex

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

View full profile.


Learn about our editorial policies.

Aug 4, 2009
The global economic crisis has got most businesses pinching pennies just to stay afloat, and the drug development industry is no exception. But at least one area of the biotechnology sector -- contract research organizations (CROs) -- is on the rise.
Image: Wikimedia commons, Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention's
Public Health Image Library
CROs first showed up in the biotech industry in the late 1970s and quickly took on a significant role in research and development (R&D), eventually expanding from drug discovery and preclinical work to clinical trials, drug manufacturing, and even marketing. According to a 2005 Thomson CenterWatch survey, the $15 billion CRO industry was growing at a rate of 12% each year, but data from the past two years show a substantially higher annual growth rate of nearly 17%. In 2007, of the approximately $60 billion biotech and pharmaceutical companies spent on drug development, $15 billion (25%)...




Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?