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India's CRO Market Poised to Grow

'Domestic Clinical Research Organisation Market Poised to Grow' [Mumbai] [Times of India]

From Times of India (August 18, 2012)

MUMBAI: A large, easy-to-access, treatment-naive population; high degree of available cost arbitrage of up to 30-50% over US and an improved regulatory environment, is driving growth in the the domestic clinical research organization (CRO) market. The market is growing at 11-13% as the country builds its track record and gains increasing favour as a base for global clinical trials (phase I-IV). An analysis from consulting firm, Frost & Sullivan finds that the domestic CRO market registered revenues of $485 million in 2010-11, and estimates this to cross $1 billion in 2016.

The participants operating in the segment include multinational CROs that still dominate the nation’s market, domestic CROs, multinational and domestic pharmaceutical companies. While the first three categories of companies are into global trials, domestic pharmaceutical companies usually look at conducting local trials.

"Therapeutic areas in which research can be conducted in India are varied, and this is likely to result in more number of studies in the country," said a Frost & Sullivan analyst. "Emerging areas, such as diagnostic research, are also expected to drive the India CRO market." Market growth is further bolstered by the government’s (Drug Controller General of India) efforts to create a favourable environment for clinical trials. The improved regulatory environment possessing stringent enforcement laws will also bring more credibility to trials in India.

However, increasing competition, quality concerns and lack of quality infrastructure in smaller tier II sites are some factors that impede the growth rate of the CRO market. "Reliability and consumer confidence in Indian clinical trials data is lacking, greatly impacting the CRO market," elaborated the analyst. "This is the result of a number of small-scale CROs having compromised on the standard of their studies in their bid to compete." As more established CROs continue to grow, with reliable data and well-established clientele, the impact of this restraint is expected to diminish. The market will also be supported by India’s attractiveness as a small base with low costs, high-standard practices, and growing interest from multinationals to include the country as a preferred clinical trials site for their studies.

Posted: August 2012