World`s Largest Contract Research Organizations

World’s Largest Contract Research Organizations: What You Need to Know

Contract research organizations (CROs) are companies that provide support to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries in the form of research services. These companies help in different phases of clinical trials, drug development, and regulatory submission, which requires a wide range of expertise in areas such as pharmacology, biostatistics, and medical writing.

Here, we’ve rounded up the largest contract research organizations in the world and what you need to know about them.

1. IQVIA Holdings Inc.

IQVIA Holdings Inc. is a US-based organization, which was formed through the merger of IMS Health and Quintiles in 2016. It provides services to a wide range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, biotech, and medical devices. IQVIA caters to over 90% of the top pharmaceutical companies and has a presence in more than 100 countries.

2. PRA Health Sciences Inc.

PRA Health Sciences Inc. is a US-based company that focuses on clinical development and post-marketing services. PRA has over 17,000 employees, more than 75 offices and operates in over 90 countries. PRA is one of the top 10 CROs globally and provides services such as clinical trial management, data management, drug safety, and pharmacovigilance.

3. Syneos Health Inc.

Syneos Health Inc. is another US-based company that was formed through the merger of inVentiv Health and INC Research in 2018. Syneos offers a broad range of services, including clinical development, commercialization, and consulting. The company operates in more than 110 countries with over 25,000 employees.

4. Charles River Laboratories International Inc.

Charles River Laboratories International Inc. is a US-based company that provides drug discovery, safety assessment and laboratory services to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The company also offers preclinical services, such as animal testing and veterinary services. Charles River operates in 22 countries and has over 17,000 employees.

5. ICON Plc.

ICON Plc. is an Irish-based company that provides clinical development and commercialization services. It is one of the leading CROs globally and caters to various industries such as pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical devices. ICON has a presence in over 90 countries and employs over 15,000 people.


The list goes on, and there are many other CROs that offer similar services. However, the above-mentioned CROs are among the largest in the world, with a global reach and an impressive client base. As the demand for clinical research services increases, these organizations are anticipated to play a significant role in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries in the coming years.