Sponsor-CRO Collaboration Study

Jonathan Hughes, Jessica Wadd, Elizabeth Rayer

The number of clinical trials managed by CROs is steadily increasing, and the clinical outsourcing industry is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.  Yet many pharmaceutical companies report disappointment that outsourcing has not brought significantly reduced cycle times or substantial savings.

Vantage Partners has undertaken extensive research examining the current state of Sponsor-CRO relationships, challenges associated with outsourcing clinical trials, and barriers to more effective collaboration between trial Sponsors and CROs.

We’re pleased to offer the results of this research, comprising survey responses from, and interviews with, individuals at both Sponsors and CROs.

A few key findings from our research include:

  • A majority of pharmaceutical companies believe that outsourced clinical trials are slower and more expensive than those conducted in-house, yet only about half of them formally monitor trial progress against contracted budget and scope
  • More seamless collaboration between Sponsors and CROs as well as a higher degree of transparency into Sponsor development pipelines are correlated with Sponsors reporting that outsourced trials are faster and more cost efficient than those conducted  in-house
  • Fewer than 25% of pharmaceutical companies employ balanced, two-way scorecards that (i) assess total value delivered by CROs, and (ii) also include CRO assessment of the sponsor’s performance as a customer/partner
  • Sponsors report a lack of significant innovation from their CRO partners – and Sponsors and CROs have very different perspectives on the root cause of barriers to increased innovation