Leading global contract research organizations based on revenue 2017

In 2017, the top contract research organizations worldwide included Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, IQVIA, and Syneos Health, to name a few. The top company, Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings had 10.4 billion U.S. dollars in revenue during that year. Comparatively, the second company IQVIA generated 9.7 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.

Contract research organizations

Contract research organizations (CROs) are companies that are contracted by larger pharmaceutical companies to manage select aspects of clinical trials. Today, CROs are essential for pharmaceutical research and development. Pharmaceutical companies are spending more money than ever on research and development and there is no indication that spending will decrease in the future. Evidence suggests that CROs will become even more valuable. The clinical CRO market is expected to almost double by 2020. Likewise, it is expected that by 2021 revenue generated by CROs will nearly double the revenue generated by CROs in 2016.

Pharmaceutical research and development

Globally, Roche and Johnson & Johnson will be the top pharmaceutical companies based on their projected research and development spending. There are regional differences in research and development among pharmaceutical companies. Of all pharmaceutical companies globally those based in the U.S. developed the most new chemical or biological entities between 2013 and 2017.

Top global contract research organizations (CROs) based on 2017 revenue

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Release date

March 2018



Survey time period


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Statistics on "Clinical trials"

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