Latin American Contract Research Organizations Set to Get More Local Outsourcing Opportunities

– Currently, multinational companies outsource a larger proportion of their clinical trials than local firms, finds Frost & Sullivan

SAO PAULO, April 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — As market penetration stood at only 64 percent in 2013, huge opportunities exist for contract research organizations (CROs) to expand their market share in Latin America (LATAM). Local contracts, which accounted for 21.6 percent of the total market size in 2013, will begin to contribute more to overall revenues. The local development of biosimilars, domestic pharmaceutical companies’ plans to increase the number of clinical trials to comply with regulations, and focus on geographic expansion will give rise to more local contracts for CROs in the region.



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New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Latin American Contract Research Organization Market (, finds that the market earned revenues of $438.5 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach $661.3 million in 2019 at a compound annual growth rate of 7.1 percent. The study covers phase I, phase II, phase III and late phase clinical development as well as biostatistics, central laboratory services and data management. Health economics studies, a part of late phase trials, will gain significant traction in the coming years, since they are utilized while deciding which new molecules to include in the list of reimbursed drugs considered by public health services and private insurance plans.

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"Multinational pharmaceutical companies tend to outsource about 70 percent of their trials by adopting either a fully outsourced or function-to-function model," said Frost & Sullivan Healthcare Consultant Sanjeev Kumar. "However, local pharmaceutical companies have lower outsourcing rates that range from 50 to 70 percent in countries across LATAM."

In Argentina and Brazil, regulatory issues have restrained clinical development, thereby dampening the prospects of CROs in the region. Bottlenecks in the Agencia Nacional de Vigilancia Sanitaria (ANVISA) submission and approval processes have meant that protocol approval takes 12 to 15 months in Brazil and an average of 6 months in Argentina.

In addition, limited outsourcing among big pharmaceutical clients that can conduct in-house R&D and clinical drug testing has restricted CRO market growth. Nevertheless, as large, well-established CROs have begun to use specialized research technologies that can cater to the rising demand for drug development, pharmaceutical clients’ reliance on in-house R&D is likely to reduce considerably. Along with this trend, the rise of innovative therapeutic options as well as the need for increased drug efficacy and safety will promote market development.

"In order to better serve and become the preferred partner of bio-pharmaceutical companies, CROs in LATAM must make an effort to expand their range of services," noted Kumar. "Mergers and acquisitions with local CROs will be a cost-effective approach to achieve this end."

Latin American Contract Research Organization Market is part of the Life Sciences ( Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan’s related studies include: Global Diabetes Drug Delivery Market, Global CRO Market, Global Stem Cell Market, and Global Infectious Disease Diagnostics Market. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

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Latin American Contract Research Organization Market

Francesca Valente
Corporate Communications – Latin America
P: +54 11 4777 5300
F: +54 11 4777 5300

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