Business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan and Asia-Pacific CRO specialist Novotech published a report summarising the main trends and developments in Asia’s clinical outsourcing landscape. The report highlights the main drivers behind the growth in demand for CRO services in the region.

According to the clinical trials data report, Asia-Pacific is forecast to record the fastest growth in contract research organisation (CRO) services, at almost 15% annually, and will account for 20% of the global CRO market by 2022.

The estimated activity of biotechnology companies in Asia-Pacific has increased more than three times faster in Asia-Pacific compared with the rest of the world between 2016 and 2018.

Trials involving sites in Asia can result in a higher recruitment rate when compared to trials conducted in the United States, especially for complex trials such as in oncology and immuno-oncology. Failure to recruit participants is the main reason for trials missing timelines globally. Sponsors in Europe and North America face challenges around participant recruitment and retention and relatively high costs.

Drivers underlying international demand in Asia-Pacific for clinical research

Large potential participant populations: The clinical trial density (national population divided by the number of recruiting trial sites) is still significantly lower in Asia than in developed markets such as the US. In 2019, Asia accounted for about 60% of the global population.

Greater efficiency of complex clinical trials: For clinical studies initiated in 2018 and 2019, oncology trials involving sites in Asia-Pacific resulted in a higher median recruitment rate and reduced recruitment periods when compared to trials in the US, as well as the worldwide median. Most Asian countries lack systematic reimbursement of oncology and immuno-oncology standards of care, which suggest that clinical trials are often the only channel through which patients can access these treatments, improving treatment adherence and patient recruitment.

Cost efficiencies: Low operational costs position Asia-Pacific as a highly attractive destination for clinical trials when compared with the US and Europe.

Key opinion leaders’ expertise: Asia-Pacific has knowledgeable investigators and experts. Many key opinion leaders are global experts in their fields, and their inclusion in trials is critical.

Novotech: Accelerating clinical trials

Novotech provides regulatory and clinical consulting services to biotechnology companies through its specialised division BioDesk.

BioDesk offers its clients one of the most experienced and cohesive regulatory, CMC and toxicology expert groups available across three continents. To learn more or talk to their experts about your clinical trial, visit Novotech’s website.