The global ophthalmic therapeutic drugs market is projected to grow steadily throughout the next decade, driven by the aging of populations, increasing prevalence of eye diseases, rising demand for ophthalmic treatment, raising public awareness, and growing investment in research and development (R&D) by governments and industry. In response, there is a growing demand for specialized, experienced Ophthalmology contract research organizations (CROs). CROs are companies that assist biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device manufacturers with research services on a contract basis. CROs also help support research institutions, universities, and government organizations. Below is a list of the top ten leading CROs for ophthalmology clinical trials.
CRO #1: Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.
Charles River Laboratories (Charles River) is a full-service, non-clinical CRO based in the US with 75 years of experience. Operating in more than 110 locations in over 20 countries, Charles River continues to expand its portfolio and geographic footprint. To better serve its customers, Charles River has formed strategic commercial relationships with leading global biopharma companies and maintains industry ties with leading ophthalmology, neurophysiology, and surgery experts. The Charles River Ophthalmology CRO offers full-service support across the drug and development continuum. It provides sponsors with an integrated approach from basic research and early discovery to safety assessment. In response to sponsor needs, Charles River emphasizes study design optimization and management.
CRO #2: ICON
Founded in 1990 in Dublin, Ireland, ICON is a global provider of drug and device development and commercialization services in Europe, the US, South America, the Middle East, and Africa. ICON provides end-to-end support for devices and drugs for ophthalmology clinical trials, from trial design to commercialization. ICON serves small local trials to large global programs. ICON’s Clinical Outcomes & Assessment group works with clients to develop a go-to-market evidence-based strategy, e.g., the development of a patient-reported outcomes measure for contact lens discomfort. ICON has research experience in age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, conjunctivitis, dry eye disease (DED), glaucoma, macular edema, myopia, ocular disease, and retinal disease. ICON has also supported sponsors in maintaining compliance with regulatory requirements (in the US and beyond) when conducting clinical studies for ophthalmic and ophthalmic-related devices.
CRO #3: IQVIA
IQVIA is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions, and clinical research services. In the forty years since it was founded, IQVIA has grown to become one of the top and largest CROs, with approximately 85,000 employees operating in over 100 countries. The Ophthalmology Center of Excellence (COE) has ophthalmology clinical trial experience in dry eye, glaucoma, and retinopathies. Through the Ophthalmology COE, IQVIA provides sponsors with scientific and medical expertise and therapeutic insights. To achieve accelerated timelines and operational efficiency, IQVIA leverages its next-generation clinical data, cutting-edge technology, and advanced analytics while applying the lens of its ophthalmology domain expertise.
CRO #4: LabCorp
Labcorp is a leading global life sciences company with diagnostics and drug development capabilities, with approximately 75,000 employees operating in more than 100 countries. Labcorp provides ophthalmic drug development services from discovery and preclinical to clinical trials and post-market follow-up. The Labcorp Ophthalmology CRO offers support for anterior and posterior segments, rare ocular diseases, gene therapies, ophthalmic devices, and diagnostics. Labcorp has delivered over 100 global, patient-centric ophthalmology clinical trials for emerging biotech companies in the past five years. It promises to optimize sponsor trials by jointly developing a strategic vision for studies, extending the sponsor’s team of experts via full-service collaboration, providing access to tailored preclinical solutions, and developing patient-centric ophthalmology clinical trial and testing solutions aligned with study goals.
CRO #5: Vial
Vial is a global tech-enabled CRO providing next-generation clinical trial management services. Vial was founded on the mission to reimagine clinical trials to deliver faster and more efficient trials powered by technology. The Vial Ophthalmology CRO distinguishes itself by leveraging its innovative technology platform that powers trials end-to-end, from site startup to database lock. Vial’s technology platform combines modern, intuitive eSource, EDC, and ePRO into one connected system, streamlining site processes and enabling considerable efficiencies. Vial also works diligently to build strong, long-lasting relationships with highly sought-after sites with extensive experience in the therapeutic areas it specializes. The Vial Preferred Site Network comprises sites that have successfully undergone Vial’s comprehensive selection process. Vial’s Ophthalmology CRO is supported by skilled technology and ClinOps leaders, as well as a team of scientific advisors.
CRO #6: Medpace
Medpace is a mid-size, full-service global CRO for drugs, biologics, and medical devices, with over 4,800 associates in 41 countries. Founded in 1992, Medpace customers today include small, mid-sized, and large biopharma companies. Medpace offers expertise in ophthalmology through its in-house, board-certified medical doctors who are embedded in the project team and fully involved throughout the study. In addition, the Medpace Ophthalmology CRO team has first-hand experience in ophthalmology clinical trials from the perspective of the sponsor, clinical investigator, scientific leader, and regulatory agency reviewer. Medpace also cites its cross-specialty experience as key in managing complex ophthalmology trials.
CRO #7: PPD
From a one-person consulting firm in 1985, PPD has grown to over 30,000 employees and has been recognized as a leading global CRO providing comprehensive, integrated drug development, laboratory, and lifecycle management services. In the past five years, PPD has been involved in over 60 ophthalmology clinical studies with more than 8,150 patients in over 1,850 sites globally. In addition, PPD engaged with more than 300 dedicated ophthalmology professionals. Working with the PPD Ophthalmology CRO, sponsors have access to PPD’s team of dedicated ophthalmology professionals, an international network of experienced ophthalmic research sites, and over 2,000 global investigators. PPD has a broad ophthalmology experience addressing chronic, acute, and rare diseases in both adult and pediatric populations and has facilitated registration approval for products to treat AMD, branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO), central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), uveitis, and diabetic macular edema (DME).
CRO #8: ProTrials Research, Inc.
Founded in 1996, ProTrials is a woman-owned full-service CRO for the medical device, diagnostics, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. ProTrials is based in the US, with clinical operations worldwide. It conducts clinical trials in all phases of clinical research, from small studies to full-scale development programs. The ProTrials Ophthalmology CRO team has years of comprehensive ophthalmology experience and maintains relationships with key investigators in the field. Further, 40% of ProTrials employees have ophthalmology experience. More than 37 ophthalmology projects for over 28 indications have been conducted.
CRO #9: Syneos Health
Syneos Health is a global biopharma solutions organization that combines clinical development, medical affairs, and commercial capabilities to offer CRO and Contract Commercial Organization services. Syneos Health has more than 29,000 employees in operations in over 110 countries. As an Ophthalmology CRO partner, Syneos Health offers sponsors a global view of the ophthalmic clinical research landscape, disease-specific expertise in developing eye disease treatment interventions, and long-standing site relationships. The team comprises more than 450 drug development professionals and physicians who have been part of bringing leading eye drugs to market. In the past five years, Syneos Health has conducted 15 AMD trials and nine glaucoma trials.
CRO #10: Worldwide Clinical Trials, Inc.
Worldwide Clinical Trials, Inc. (Worldwide) is a mid-size, full-service global CRO founded by a group of physicians. To serve its clients, Worldwide offers therapeutic specialization, methodological rigor, the ability to link experimental design to operations, and flexible, transparent, and integrated systems. Recognizing the need to address the increasing global burden of genetic, rare, age-related, and degenerative ophthalmic diseases, Worldwide is poised to work with sponsors on ophthalmology clinical trials, having the requisite technical skills and knowledge of trial and indication experience. Worldwide provides Ophthalmology CRO services for all phases of trials to commercialization and beyond, focusing on maximizing the efficiency and value of ophthalmology clinical studies.
Why Choose a CRO?
CROs provide a resource to the biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device industry for expertise in running clinical trials, streamlining the process, and increasing the speed at which new medications, devices, and technology are brought to market. CROs are also subject to regulations governing clinical research and are similarly audited by regulatory authorities.