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Top 12 Clinical Research Organisations (CROs) in 2023

Top 12 Clinical Research Organisations (CROs) in 2023


The global clinical trials market was estimated to be worth $38.7 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach £52 billion by 2026. In this article, we look at the top 12 CROs in the world, highlighting the companies driving this considerable growth and accelerating research and development across the globe.
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Editor: Lucy Walters Last Updated: 27-Mar-2023

The global clinical trials market was estimated to be worth $38.7 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach £52 billion by 2026. In this article, we look at the top 12 CROs in the world, highlighting the companies driving this considerable growth and accelerating research and development across the globe.


Recognised as the world’s largest and most comprehensive CRO powered by Healthcare Intelligence, ICON provides outsourced development and commercialisation services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and government and public health organisations. ICON has a global network of offices in 46 countries, working on specialities including Medical Devices, Therapeutics, Government and Public Health Solutions, Clinical Research Services, Commercialisation and Outcomes, and more.


With approximately 70,000 employees, IQVIA is a leading provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions and clinical research services to the life sciences industry. Operating in more than 100 countries, IQVIA’s Clinical Research solutions include Protocol Design, Phase I Trials, Phase IIb / III Trials, Site Identification, Patient Recruitment and Global Laboratories.


With more than 20,000 employees globally, Parexel is one of the world’s largest CROs and provides contract research, consulting, and medical communications services to the worldwide pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. Parexel provides the full range of Phase I to IV clinical development services, with global study locations in Baltimore, US, London, UK, Los Angeles, US, and Berlin, Germany.

Syneos Health

Syneos Health is the only fully integrated biopharmaceutical solutions organisation built to accelerate customer success, with 29,000+ employees working across more than 110 countries. The company’s Clinical Development services include Decentralized Solutions, Bioanalytical Solutions, Early Phase, Phase II–III, Phase IIIb – IV, Real World and Late Phase, and Medical Device and Diagnostics. In 2022, Syneos Health was the winner of the Life Sciences Award for Most Innovative CRO.

Labcorp Drug Development

With more than 70,000 employees, Labcorp is a leading global life sciences company with unparalleled diagnostics and drug development capabilities. The company is driven to help medical, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies transform ideas into innovations, and supports clinical trial activities in approximately 100 countries. Labcorp plans to spin-off its clinical development business, to be named Fortrea, in mid-2023.


Part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, PPD is a leading global CRO with 130,000+ employees, working to make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer. The company offers a broad range of clinical development and analytical services, helping to accelerate medicines from early development through regulatory approval and market access. PPD works with a broad range of therapeutic areas, including Biosimilar Development, Cell & Gene Therapy, Immunology and Rheumatology, Infectious Diseases, Women’s Health, and more.


In 2022, Medpace celebrated 30 years of accelerating the development of medical therapeutics, with approximately 5,000 employees working across 41 countries. The company provides medical and regulatory leadership and guidance throughout the clinical development life cycle, along with efficient execution of studies around the world, from Early Phase to Late Phase. Medpace also earned the 2022 CRO Leadership Awards for Capability, Compatibility, Expertise, Quality, and Reliability.

Charles River Laboratories

With 20,000+ employees worldwide, Charles River Laboratories provides essential products and services that help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, government agencies and leading academic institutions across the globe to accelerate their research and drug development efforts. The company currently operates more than 110 facilities across 20+ countries, working on therapeutic areas including COVID-19, Cardiovascular Disease, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, and Rare Diseases.

WuXi AppTec

WuXi AppTec is a global company providing a broad portfolio of R&D and manufacturing services to help pharmaceutical and healthcare companies across the globe advance discoveries and deliver ground-breaking treatments. The company currently has more than 45,000 employees globally, including 42,000 scientists. WuXi Clinical, a wholly owned subsidiary of WuXi AppTec, is a global CRO providing a comprehensive range of clinical development services for the development of pharmaceuticals, biologics, and medical devices.


CTI is one of the 20 largest CROs in the world, with associates in 60+ countries across six continents, including 12 locations in Europe. The company is the highest-ranked CRO in the world after being named a winner in all 5 core categories of the 2022 CRO Leadership Award. CTI provides its partners with a full range of clinical services, across therapeutic areas including Rare / Orphan Diseases, Regenerative Medicine / Gene Therapy, Immunology, Transplantation, and Hematology / Oncology.

Worldwide Clinical Trials

With approximately 3,000 employees and operating in more than 60 countries, Worldwide Clinical Trials is a global, midsize CRO providing top-performing bioanalytical and Phase I-IV clinical development services to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. The company’s major therapeutic focus areas include Cardiovascular, Metabolic, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Rare Diseases. In 2022, they were recognised for excellence and honoured in 5 categories in the CRO Leadership Awards.


PSI CRO is a privately-owned, full-service CRO operating globally, with 27,000+ employees in more than 60 countries. Committed to being the best CRO in the world, the company specialises in the planning and execution of global pivotal registration clinical trials, supporting trials across multiple countries and continents. PSI was named a 2022 CRO Leadership Award Champion in the categories of Compatibility, Quality, and Reliability.