SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

July 15, 2015 10:00 ET

75% of Life Sciences Teams Strongly Consider Prior CRO Relationship During Vendor Selection, According to Cutting Edge Information

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - July 15, 2015) - Life sciences companies weigh a number of factors when selecting a third-party contract research organization (CRO) to assist with clinical trial operations. Important criteria include therapeutic area expertise, site recruitment capabilities and industry reputation. However, according to pharmaceutical intelligence firm Cutting Edge Information, the most important criteria are cost and the sponsor's prior relationship with the vendor.

Cutting Edge Information's new report, "Clinical Outsourcing: Leverage Sponsor-CRO Relationships to Accelerate Trial Timelines," found that 75% of teams strongly consider their prior CRO relationships when choosing a vendor. This percentage rises to 83% for teams operating in Europe. In fact, some executives begin building relationships with a vendor long before sending out a request for proposal (RFP). Through conversations with the third party's management, sponsors learn about the vendor's experience, flexibility and knowledge.

"Early relationship building is essential to ensuring that the CRO understands the sponsor's needs," said Sarah Ray, senior analyst at Cutting Edge Information. "Behind prior relationships, the second most considered selection criterion among surveyed teams is cost. Like any other shopping, however, the least expensive vendor may not necessarily be best." Sponsors will likely regret selecting vendors based solely on cost rather than value.

Once a team carefully vets a third party for its qualifications and abilities, the team may add the CRO to its preferred list of vendors. This list will facilitate vendor selection for future trials because the clinical trial team can choose CROs from a finite set of already approved vendors.

"Clinical Outsourcing: Leverage Sponsor-CRO Relationships to Accelerate Trial Timelines," available at, provides best practices for vendor selection and management. The report also examines CRO-sponsor relationships, site selection criteria and patient recruitment. Report highlights include:

  • Metrics detailing clinical trial activities from pharmaceutical, device, CRO and site perspectives.
  • Data on surveyed teams' vendor selection process and preferred collaboration type (master services agreement versus functional service provider)
  • Best practice recommendations and projected costs associated with selected patient recruitment activities
  • Profiles of 17 pharmaceutical, biotech, device and CRO-managed clinical trials, including overall trial costs, number of enrolled patients and sites and clinical team size.

For more information about "Clinical Outsourcing: Leverage Sponsor-CRO Relationships to Accelerate Trial Timelines" and vendor selection criteria, please visit

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