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International Clinical Trials

Does Size Really Matter?

Over the past few years, outsourcing clinical trials has become an attractive option for sponsored pharmaceutical research. Therapeutic expertise, resource management, technological advantages and cost cutting are some of the primary reasons for any biopharmaceutical sponsor to outsource clinical trials. This has led to tremendous growth in the size and number of CROs in the past two decades. Most of them position themselves as a fullservice CRO in the drug development market, although – based on study-specific requirements – the majority of them are ready to sub-source for their functional needs.

Collaborating with a CRO is now an essential and significant step for sponsors during the clinical development process. The dynamic shift in outsourcing methodology and service fragmentation has left them with critical decisions to be taken at the juncture of CRO sourcing. There are variable sizes of companies on both the sponsor and the CRO side, and the principle of ‘one size fits all’ is not pragmatic from an operability perspective.

Different Options


Full-service and functional outsourcing remain as two distinct but basic models of collaboration. Traditionally, per-study outsourcing has been followed until recently, when strategic partnerships between Big Pharma and sizeable CROs began gaining popularity.

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Mohamed El Malt, MD, PhD, is Chief Medical Consultant at Europital. In addition to 15 years of working as a general and oncology surgeon, Mohamed has more than 32 years of experience as a medical doctor, 18 of which he spent in clinical research and drug development at academic medical centres, as well as in pharma companies and CROs as an investigator, project leader and medical director.
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Mohamed El Malt
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