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Neurology Contract Research Organization Market By Service (Drug Discovery Services, Pre-clinical Services, Clinical Services, Post-Approval Services); By Production (In-house, Outsourced); By Indication (Oncology, CNS, Cardiovascular Diseases, Metabolic Disorders, Immunology, Respiratory, Musculoskeletal Disorders, Hematological Disorders, Other); By End User (Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Companies, Medical Device Companies, Governments and Private Firms, Academic Institutions, Others) – Growth, Share, Opportunities & Competitive Analysis, 2024 – 2032

Price: $4999

Published: | Report ID: 34365 | Report Format : PDF
Historical Period  2019-2022
Base Year  2023
Forecast Period  2024-2032
Neurology Contract Research Organization Market, CAGR  6.26%.
Neurology Contract Research Organization Market Size 2032  USD 4,700.66 million

Market Overview:

The neurology contract research organization (CRO) market is positioned for substantial growth, with an anticipated value of USD 11.40 billion by 2032, representing a notable compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.65%. Key driver of this growth is the escalating prevalence of neurological disorders globally, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. This increasing disease burden emphasizes the critical need for efficient drug development and clinical trials, positioning neurology CROs as pivotal players in advancing therapeutic solutions for neurological conditions.

The growing investment in neurological research by governments, pharmaceutical companies, and private foundations further propels the neurology CRO market. This surge in funding creates an environment conducive to innovation and advancements in drug development, where CROs play a crucial role in designing and managing clinical trials for novel neurological therapies. Additionally, the complexities inherent in neurological drug development, including challenges related to the nervous system and the blood-brain barrier, underscore the specialized expertise of neurology CROs, making them indispensable partners for pharmaceutical and biotechnology entities seeking to navigate these complexities efficiently.

Emerging trends in the neurology CRO landscape include a focus on decentralized clinical trials (DCTs), the rise of specialized CROs catering to specific neurological disorders, and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data analytics. These trends reflect the industry’s adaptability to advancements in technology and the evolving landscape of clinical trial methodologies. Opportunities for neurology CROs lie in expanding their service offerings to encompass areas like biomarker development, companion diagnostics, and regulatory consulting. Moreover, geographic expansion into emerging economies with a growing healthcare focus and continuous investment in cutting-edge technologies present avenues for strategic growth and a competitive edge in the market.

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Market Drivers:

Driving Factors Behind the Growth of Neurology CROs

The global increase in neurological disorders is a key catalyst for the expansion of neurology contract research organizations (CROs). The rising incidence of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy is partly attributed to an aging population that is more prone to these disorders. Additionally, environmental factors and lifestyle choices also play a role in exacerbating this trend. The escalating need for advanced treatments has led to an increase in clinical research within the neurology sector. Neurology CROs are crucial in this context, offering the essential expertise and infrastructure to carry out complex clinical trials aimed at developing new neurological therapies.

  • Up to 1 billion people, or nearly one in six of the world’s population, suffer from neurological disorders, from Alzheimer and Parkinson disease, strokes, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy to migraines, brain injuries, and neuroinfections. The global burden of neurological disorders is increasing.

Investment in Neurology Research and Development

There is a notable shift in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies towards investing heavily in neurology research and development (R&D). This move is motivated by the recognition of the substantial potential within the neurology market. The surge in funding highlights the demand for specialized CROs that possess the necessary scientific acumen and regulatory knowledge to manage the challenges of neurological drug development. Equipped with an in-depth understanding of the unique hurdles in this field, neurology CROs are instrumental in advancing R&D endeavors.

The Complexity of Clinical Trials in Neurology

The increasing complexity of clinical trials within the neurology domain further emphasizes the need for specialized CROs. Contemporary neurology trials often adopt precision medicine and personalized therapy approaches, requiring intricate patient recruitment strategies and advanced trial designs. Given that many neurological disorders feature subjective endpoints, there is a significant need for specialized expertise for their accurate assessment. Neurology CROs bring this specialized knowledge and experience to the forefront, serving as vital allies for pharmaceutical firms aiming to efficiently overcome the intricacies of clinical trials.

Outsourcing to Specialized Neurology CROs

An emerging trend among pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies is the outsourcing of clinical trial operations to CROs, especially those specializing in neurology. This approach enables companies to refine their R&D processes, manage costs more effectively, and leverage the specialized skills of CROs. Neurology CROs offer tailored clinical trial management solutions that are both efficient and cost-effective, allowing drug companies to focus on their primary tasks of drug discovery and development. The rigorous regulatory environment surrounding clinical trials and the necessity for a global reach in research spanning multiple countries further highlight the value of neurology CROs with established networks and expertise in various regions. Additionally, by incorporating technological innovations in research methods, such as biomarkers, neuroimaging techniques, and electronic data systems, neurology CROs are able to design more streamlined and focused clinical trials, thereby facilitating quicker and more precise outcomes.

An analysis in showed that on average, 64% of clinical development services (including early phase and Phase I–IV clinical trials and clinical data management) are outsourced, with only 38–40% carried out in-house.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has significant potential to transform neurology by enhancing the diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases. Current tools use AI for accurate epilepsy diagnosis, brain mapping, and surgical planning. The evolution of big data in neuroscience and neurology is also noteworthy.

Market Trends:

Rising Prevalence of Neurological Disorders

The aging global population is contributing to an increased prevalence of age-related neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. This escalation in disease burden is driving the demand for research and development into new treatments and therapies, thus fueling the growth of the neurology contract research organization (CRO) market. Currently, around 44 million individuals worldwide live with dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease constituting approximately 50–75 percent of these cases. The age-standardized prevalence rates for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease in individuals over 60 years old are 3.20% and 1.06%, respectively.

Focus on Drug Discovery and Development

In response to the high unmet medical needs and significant market opportunities, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are intensifying their research efforts on neurological diseases. Neurology CROs are pivotal in these efforts, offering critical expertise and resources for clinical trial design, data management, and regulatory guidance, thereby streamlining the drug discovery and development process.

Advancements in Neurological Research Techniques

Technological advancements, including neuroimaging, genetic testing, and biomarkers, are revolutionizing neurological research. Neurology CROs are keenly adopting these state-of-the-art techniques to enhance trial design, patient recruitment, and data analysis, leading to more efficient and effective clinical research outcomes. The evolution from small-scale studies to large, international collaborations utilizing a range of data types and high-performance computing, including AI algorithms, marks a significant transformation in the field.

Growing Demand for Decentralized Trials

The COVID-19 pandemic underscored the value of decentralized trials (DCTs), which facilitate remote participation in clinical studies. This model offers improved access for patients who are geographically dispersed or have mobility limitations. Neurology CROs are increasingly integrating DCT strategies to improve the feasibility of clinical trials and enhance patient recruitment. Before the pandemic, a December 2019 survey by Industry Standard Research indicated that 38% of biopharmaceutical and contract research organizations anticipated DCTs becoming a major part of their trial portfolios, with 48% expecting to conduct trials with most activities carried out in patients’ homes.

Strategic Partnerships and Mergers & Acquisitions Activity

As competition within the neurology CRO market intensifies, companies are pursuing strategic partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions to broaden their service offerings, expand their geographic footprint, and enhance their therapeutic expertise. This trend towards consolidation allows CROs to provide a more comprehensive range of services and meet the changing needs of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the neurology research arena. The mergers and acquisitions market is expected to reach a transaction value of US$2.57 trillion by 2024, with deals valued at $100 million or more totaling $1.38 trillion announced through November 30.

Market Restraints and Challenges:

  • Increasing Complexity of Clinical Trials: Neurological disorders are often complex and heterogeneous, making it difficult to design and conduct successful clinical trials. This complexity requires specialized expertise and resources that may not be readily available to all CROs. Additionally, the growing focus on personalized medicine and targeted therapies further adds to the intricacy of trials, potentially straining the capacity of CROs to manage these nuanced studies.
  • Stringent Regulatory Requirements: The regulatory landscape governing clinical trials, particularly for neurological disorders, is becoming increasingly stringent. These regulations aim to ensure patient safety and data integrity, but they can also be time-consuming and expensive to navigate. CROs need to invest in regulatory expertise and stay updated on evolving regulations to ensure compliance, which can strain their resources and potentially slow down the clinical trial process.
  • Shortage of Qualified Investigators and Patients: Neurological research often demands highly specialized investigators with expertise in specific neurological conditions. The limited pool of qualified investigators, coupled with the specific inclusion and exclusion criteria for neurological trials, can make patient recruitment a significant challenge. This shortage can lead to delays in trial initiation and enrollment, impacting the overall timeline and budget of the study.
  • High Costs of Neurological Drug Development: Neurological drug development is generally more expensive than research for other therapeutic areas. This is due to factors like the complex nature of neurological disorders, the need for specialized equipment and facilities, and the longer timelines often associated with neurological trials. These high costs can be a hurdle for smaller pharmaceutical companies or those with limited budgets, potentially restricting their ability to leverage CRO services and hindering overall market growth.
  • Data Security and Privacy Concerns: Neurological research often involves sensitive patient data. CROs must ensure robust data security measures are in place to protect patient privacy and comply with data protection regulations. Data breaches or privacy violations can have severe consequences, erode trust in the research process, and potentially lead to regulatory sanctions. Investing in robust cybersecurity measures can add to the operational costs for CROs.

Recent Developments:

  • In October 2023, IQVIA Inc. (US) and argenx (US) initiated a strategic partnership aimed at enhancing care for individuals with rare autoimmune diseases. This collaboration focuses on deploying innovative, technology-driven pharmacovigilance (PV) services and solutions to ensure patient safety.
  • Also in October 2023, LabCorp announced its acquisition of the outreach laboratory business and selected operational assets belonging to Baystate Health. This acquisition includes laboratory service centers operated across Massachusetts, US, under Baystate Health.
  • In March 2022, a collaboration between argenx SE and IQVIA was established to explore new potential uses for VYVGART in treating adult patients with myasthenia gravis. This partnership is expected to bolster clinical development, commercial strategies, regulatory efforts, and the utilization of real-world evidence to expedite the introduction of new applications for VYVGART. The collaboration aims to enhance long-term business partnerships and broaden their clientele.
  • In July 2022, LabCorp introduced the neurofilament light chain (NfL) blood test, a novel diagnostic tool designed to aid in identifying and confirming neurodegenerative disorders, including multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, among others.

Segmentation Analysis:

Service Type:

  • High-Demand Services: Clinical trial services, particularly Phase II and III trials, will likely remain in high demand due to the focus on confirmatory efficacy and safety data for new neurological drugs.
  • Growing Segments: Preclinical services like drug discovery and biomarker development are expected to experience significant growth. This is driven by the increasing need for early-stage research to identify promising drug candidates and develop reliable methods for disease diagnosis and monitoring.


By Service:

  • Drug discovery services
  • Pre-clinical Services
  • Clinical Services
  • Post-Approval Services

By Production:

  • In-house
  • Outsourced

By Indication:

  • Oncology
  • CNS
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Metabolic Disorders
  • Immunology
  • Respiratory
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Hematological Disorders
  • Other

By End User:

  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • Medical Device Companies
  • Governments and private firms
  • Academic Institutions
  • Others

By Region:

  • North America
    • The U.S.
    • Canada
    • Mexico
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • France
    • The U.K.
    • Italy
    • Spain
    • Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • South-east Asia
    • Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Argentina
    • Rest of Latin America
  • Middle East & Africa
    • GCC Countries
    • South Africa
    • Rest of Middle East and Africa

Key player:

  • Parexel International Corporation
  • EphyX Neuroscience
  • Ergomed plc
  • Neuron Experts
  • CTI Clinical Trial & Consulting
  • Pharmaron Beijing Co., Ltd.
  • Neuroservices-Alliance
  • QPS Neuropharmacology
  • MD Biosciences
  • Atlantic Research Group, Inc.
  • Charles River Laboratories
  • Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings
  • ICON Plc.
  • Medpace
  • Axon CRO
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (PPD Inc.)
  • IQVIA Inc.
  • Syneos Health

Regional Analysis:

  • North America: This region is expected to hold the largest market share due to its robust healthcare infrastructure, significant investment in R&D, and a high prevalence of neurological disorders.
  • Europe: Europe is another prominent market with a well-established healthcare system, a large pool of skilled researchers, and a growing focus on neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Asia Pacific: The Asia Pacific region is anticipated to experience the fastest growth rate due to factors like rising disposable income, increasing government investment in healthcare, and a large and aging population. China and India are expected to be key growth drivers in this region.
  • Latin America and the Middle East and Africa: These regions are projected to witness moderate growth due to developing healthcare infrastructure and increasing awareness of neurological disorders. However, factors like limited research funding and a shortage of skilled personnel may hinder the growth rate compared to more developed regions.

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Future Outlook:

  • Rising Prevalence of Neurological Disorders: The increasing incidence of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis will fuel demand for specialized CRO services in neurology.
  • Growing Investment in R&D: Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are expected to continue increasing their investments in neurological research and development (R&D), creating a robust market for neurology CROs.
  • Focus on Drug Discovery and Development: The need for efficient and effective drug discovery and development processes for neurological conditions will drive the demand for CRO expertise in this area.
  • Technological Advancements: Advancements in technologies like artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and neuroimaging will revolutionize clinical trials, creating new opportunities for neurology CROs to leverage these advancements.
  • Growing Demand for Regulatory Expertise: The complex regulatory landscape surrounding neurological drug development necessitates specialized CROs with a deep understanding of regulatory requirements to navigate the approval process efficiently.
  • Strategic Partnerships and Acquisitions: Increased collaboration between pharmaceutical companies, CROs, and academic institutions is expected, fostering innovation and accelerating drug development timelines.
  • Focus on Cost-Effectiveness: CROs that offer cost-effective solutions while maintaining high-quality research standards will be well-positioned to capture a larger market share.
  • Expansion into Emerging Markets: The growing healthcare infrastructure and rising prevalence of neurological disorders in emerging economies will present significant growth opportunities for neurology CROs.
  • Importance of Data Security and Privacy: As the volume of patient data generated in clinical trials increases, ensuring data security and privacy compliance will be paramount for neurology CROs.
  • Evolving Regulatory Landscape: Staying abreast of evolving regulatory requirements and adapting processes accordingly will be crucial for neurology CROs to maintain their competitive edge.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What factors are driving the growth of the neurology contract research organization (CRO) market? 

The neurology CRO market is witnessing significant growth, primarily driven by factors such as the rising prevalence of neurological disorders globally, increased investment in neurology research and development, and the growing complexity of clinical trials in this therapeutic area. These factors create a robust demand for specialized CRO services, contributing to the market’s expansion.

How does the increasing prevalence of neurological disorders impact the need for CRO services?

The escalating incidence of neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis, necessitates advanced drug development and efficient clinical trials. Neurology CROs play a crucial role in facilitating this process by offering specialized expertise in navigating the complexities of neurological drug development, contributing to the development of novel and improved treatments.

What role do neurology CROs play in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry’s research and development efforts? 

Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are directing substantial investments toward neurology R&D, recognizing the immense potential of the neurology market. Neurology CROs, with their scientific knowledge, infrastructure, and regulatory proficiency, become essential partners in conducting complex clinical trials for neurological therapies. They play a pivotal role in supporting these companies’ efforts to bring innovative treatments to market.

How do neurology CROs address the complexities of modern clinical trials in neurological disorders?

Modern clinical trials in neurology are becoming increasingly complex, requiring precision medicine approaches, personalized therapies, and sophisticated trial designs. Neurology CROs specialize in addressing these complexities by providing targeted patient recruitment strategies, expertise in subjective endpoint evaluation, and efficient trial management. Their role is crucial in ensuring the success and efficiency of clinical trials in this evolving therapeutic landscape.

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