Updated on 3 September 2012
Global CROs have rapidly expanded their scale and services in emerging markets during the past few years. This has led to a significant increase in the number of global clinical trials in China and India.
Mergers, acquisitions and alliances have become a trend in the CRO industry and the Indian and Chinese markets too have experienced this trend. Many global and local CROs have merged or formed alliances with small- to-medium sized CROs to enhance capabilities and improve local therapeutic expertise. This allows them to better compete for global clinical development programs. For example, ICON acquired BeijingWits at the start of 2012 and this has strengthened our presence and service capabilities in China to better support our clients’ requirements.
In the past, the CRO industry focused on monitoring in India. However, this has been expanded to provide a full spectrum of services at different stages of drug development, including project management, medical affairs, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, data management and statistical analysis. This trend has brought large-scale outsourcing business to the country, particularly in the area of data management and statistical analysis driven by advanced information technology and data collection capabilities.
Earlier, Chinese pharmaceutical companies conducted majority of their research within China because local CROs provided a cost-competitive option. However, with the desire to reach a global market, international CROs have become an attractive option over the past few years. For example, Chinese company Tasly Pharmaceuticals appointed ICON to conduct the company’s global phase III trials for T89 (Dantonic), which is a botanical product for the treatment of chronic stable angina pectoris due to coronary heart disease.
How do you see the growth of local CROs in Asia?