To grab attention of top CROs, small firms need bigger pipelines

During Partnerships in Clinical Trial (#ClinicalTrial) (#Trial) in Orlando, Human Genome Sciences (HGS) and other small to mid sized biopharma outlined their reasons for working with big CROs (#CRO). They said old models were “very, very ineffecient”.

Prior to deciding on the 2 CROs to work with HGS evaluated how they could guarantee a good service.  HGS should give enough backlog to the two CROs to get their attention, but if its partners are more focused on Larger Strategic Clients, HGS will walk away early.

While partnering with the Bigger CROs leads to this problem, the model is more manageable than a bigger model of niche providers. Resources are required to manage multiple small CROs in a “best in breed” approach, which leads to instead choosing a single CRO which can meet the requirements of small to mid size biopharmas.


HGS is talking to CROs about safeguards to stop attention-deficit problems arising. Key performance indicators (KPI) would be one area of focus and HGS is also discussing how it can grow people within its CRO partners as the project progress.

Regeneron has spoken very directly with its CRO about the potential to be overlooked in the favour of bigger clients. Despite this direct approach Regeneron has still met communication problems.


Sponsors can word contacts to migrate risks of working with a large CRO, such as a clause to make it pay for training after a certain level of turnover, but these can discourage vendor. Even with contractual obligations and parameters a partnership requires a degree of faith.

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