The value of drug discovery work outsourced to contract research organisations (CRO) will increase 20% year-on-year to $21bn (€18.5bn) this year according to Kalorama Information.
Study author Anne Anscomb said the increase is part of a longer term trend, suggesting that “Over the next 4-5 years, it is predicted that almost half of the drug discovery research will be contracted to CROs.”
"Thus, outsourcing drug discovery remains an important strategic imperative for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies."
In addition to drug industry desire for higher returns for R&D investment, Anscomb also suggested geographic expansion of the pharmaceutical market will increase the amount of work outsourced.
"As more pharmaceutical companies from emerging countries become major players in the pharmaceutical industry, and multinational pharmaceutical companies expand into emerging countries, the global demand for drug discovery services will continue to expand this rapidly evolving market."
The growth of the drug discovery outsourcing market will provide CROs with both an opportunity and a challenge according to Anscomb, who said contractors with the ability to invest in the latest technologies will be best placed to capitalize.