Worldwide Clinical Trials’ Annual Survey Reveals 2018 Trends in CRO/Sponsor Partnerships

MORRISVILLE, N.C.–([1])–Worldwide
Clinical Trials
[2], Inc. (Worldwide), an award-winning, full-service
clinical research organization (CRO), today announced the results of its 3rd
annual survey
[3], which is conducted to capture insight from
pharmaceutical and biotech executives and better understand evolving
sponsor preferences in the context of drug development barriers and

Clinical trials today are complex and need greater efficiency, higher
quality and risk mitigation. Worldwide collected more than 350 survey
responses from executives in clinical operations, outsourcing,
regulatory affairs and drug safety, representing 169 unique
organizations. The aim of the survey is to better understand and
reimagine the CRO/sponsor relationship and gain deeper insight into the
complexities and realities of the inevitable challenges that will arise
during a trial. The 3rd annual survey revealed five trends in
areas where CROs can provide the most innovative impact to sponsor

  1. There is a growing urgency for CRO expertise in early
    phase clinical research
    [4], i.e., first-in-human through proof
    of concept.
    The percentage of respondents who were either “likely”
    or “very likely” to engage a CRO grew most sharply for early phase
    investigations, up 8 percent – from 55 percent in 2016 to 63 percent
    in 2017. This uptick likely reflects the new cycle of compounds coming
    into early development as well as the lack of facility resources and
    limited operational expertise.
  2. There is stable growth in the overall demand for CROs.
    Sixty-eight percent of respondents said they were “much more likely”
    to hire a CRO than they were five years ago, in comparison to 65
    percent in 2016. This demonstrates that CROs are consistently
    providing value to sponsors by enabling sponsors to outsource services
    and focus on drug development rather than establishing clinical trial
  3. Data quality tops the list of CRO evaluation criteria. In both
    2016 and 2017, the most important factor in choosing a CRO was the
    ability to deliver high-quality data – with 96 percent in 2016 and 92
    percent in 2017. This highlights the importance of establishing
    standards for data management to ensure consistency in gathering
    high-quality, reliable and statistically sound data.
  4. Sponsors are looking for CROs that provide innovative solutions.
    Thirty-six percent of respondents ranked “Overall trial management” as
    the area that can make the greatest impact for the sponsor/CRO
    relationship. This reflects the demand for game-changing advancements
    for uncured diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and a wide range of orphan
    indications that do not have well-established precedent.
  5. Sponsors continue to push for clinical trial efficiencies. The
    cost of clinical development remains the most significant barrier to
    developing a new drug. With various obstacles to consider, 74 percent
    still said that costs are “significant” or “very significant” to new
    drug development.

“By 2020 it is estimated almost 75 percent of all clinical trials will
be run by CROs1, yet the CRO/sponsor relationship remains a
transactional one,” said Peter Benton, president and COO, Worldwide
Clinical Trials. “Thank you to the biopharma and pharma leaders who
provided survey input and who stand with Worldwide to ensure sponsors
can gain efficiencies and boost quality through CRO outsourcing. The
industry’s input helps us continue our work to implement operational and
clinical innovations that will help bring new therapies to market faster
with the highest quality data possible.”

First launched in 2016 at conferences such as the Drug Information
Association (DIA) annual meeting and the Biotechnology Innovation
Organization (BIO) annual meeting, the Worldwide survey seeks to
understand what makes sponsor and CRO partnerships successful by
exploring preferences in the context of drug development barriers and

For further details, the full report can be downloaded here[5],
at which time clinical leaders can also participate in the survey for
next year’s report.

For further information about Worldwide Clinical Trials, please visit[6].

Connect with Worldwide Clinical Trials:

About Worldwide Clinical Trials

Worldwide Clinical Trials employs more than 1,600 professionals around
the world, with offices in North and South America, Eastern and Western
Europe, Russia, and Asia. Founded by physicians committed to advancing
medical science, Worldwide is out to change how the world experiences
CROs – in the best possible way. From early phase and bioanalytical
sciences through late phase, post-approval and real-world evidence, we
provide world-class, full-service drug development services. With
infrastructure and talent spanning 60 countries, we execute predictable,
successful studies with operational excellence across a range of
therapeutic areas, including central nervous system, cardiovascular,
metabolic, immune-mediated inflammatory disorders (IMID), oncology and
rare diseases. We never compromise on science or safety. We’re never
satisfied with the status quo. We’re the Cure for the Common CRO. For
more information, visit[7].

1 PharmaVoice, June 2015, Clinical Solutions: Clinical
Services Market Poised For Growth


  1. ^ (
  2. ^ Worldwide Clinical Trials (
  3. ^ 3rd annual survey (
  4. ^ early phase clinical research (
  5. ^ here (
  6. ^ (
  7. ^ (
1 2 3