According to a recent survey of biopharmaceutical sponsors, the news is generally positive for contract research organisations (CROs) with outsourcing spend remaining in the low to midsingle digits, and penetration rates – currently sitting at around 50% for late-stage development - expected to continue growing over the next few years.
The survey was commissioned by Equity Research firm William Blair in conjunction with the Life Science Strategy Group and involved 140 large, medium and small pharma respondents.
But among its findings, analyst John Kreger said the improved use of data is currently “a hot topic” and could lead to new opportunities for reference labs and clinical CROs to help improve the efficiency of trials.
“The vast majority of survey respondents suggest that their respective R&D organizations have been restructured to a certain extent,” Kreger said. “Specifically, in previous surveys, more than 70% of respondents suggested that they have already made changes to their R&D strategy or structure and that the largest remaining opportunity to boost R&D productivity is improved use of existing data.”
Covance and Quintiles were identified by respondents as the two CROs most closely tied to reference labs, and thus Kreger says the firms are most likely to benefit from this trend.
“Our respondents seem most intrigued with the idea of combining lab data and clinical development capabilities, with the Covance/LabCorp combination receiving 29% of the responses and Quintiles receiving 26% when considering which is the best positioned entity to increase the efficiency of trials.”
William Blair has maintained its ‘outperform’ rating across all the top public players – Charles River Laboratories, Labcorp (Covance), Quintiles, Icon, Parexel, INC and PRA – in the preclinical and clinical sector.