Services Offered by CROs in North America

The overwhelming majority of CROs in the continent focus their business on conducting trials between Phases II and IV: over 260 of 300 CROs examined offered them. For comparison, less than 100 listed direct experience in outsourcing Phase I studies.

Other standalone services include consultancies, Document Management Services, and QA studies.

Choosing the Right CRO in North America

When working with a CRO for the first time, most biopharmaceutical companies first prefer to undertake smaller projects. This early experience can provide an opportunity to build connections with a specific CRO and gauge whether their work style matches a company's.

Yet, the most essential criteria in this selection process should be objective. Companies should look at a CRO's track record, especially for studies within the same subspecialty. Both the total number of trials conducted and the marketing authorisations obtained will be relevant. Finally, approaching colleagues about their direct experience will also yield helpful information.Largest CROs in North America

Some of the region's household names include:

Bio Reliance Corporation

As a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Bio Reliance corporation provides bioresearch and biomanufacturing services. They own two campuses in the United States: one in Maryland and one in Carlsbad, California.

Syneos Health

This company provides end-to-end clinical services for the development of new pharmaceutical agents.  They are headquartered in North Carolina.

Labcorp Drug Development

The Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings is one of the continent's most extensive diagnostics and laboratory service providers. Its drug development division employs over 10,000 people.

Charles River Laboratories

With a history drawing back to 1974, Charles River is Massachusetts CRO specialising in Phase I and II trials.  They also have significant experience in genetic and rare disease research.


Cincinnati-based Medpace is a large CRO specialising in high-difficulty subspecialties, such as oncology, cardiology, and CNS trials.


Project-management-specialist Amarex Clinical research is a Maryland CRO. They provide general consulting services, as well as monitoring, regulatory affairs, and pharmacovigilance studies. 


A relatively new player in the CRO arena, Celerion focuses primarily on early clinical research and proof-of-concept studies.


As a full-service CRO, ClinChoice is based in the US but keeps a significant presence in seven countries across Asia, Europe, and North America.

Premier Research

At their Morrisville, NC headquarters, this CRO tailors its services specifically to dermatology and oncology research.