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Contract Research Organizations (CROs)

What is a contract research organization?

A contract research organization (CRO) provides sponsors such as biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies with research management services such as clinical trial management, drug discovery, laboratory and bioanalytical services, and manufacturing assistance. The CRO is hired to plan, coordinate, manage, and execute preclinical studies or clinical trials safely and efficiently.

One of the primary service areas of a CRO is project management, which can include ensuring the preclinical study is progressing as intended, implementing corrective actions, assessing project metrics and timelines, managing third-party vendors, and tracking budgets.

The CRO is also responsible for communicating with many different teams, including regulatory personnel, ethics and compliance committees, physicians, vendors, and research coordinators.

How does a CRO improve healthcare?

By specializing in preclinical study management, contract research organizations have the knowledge, capabilities, and procedures needed to develop and successfully run preclinical studies and clinical trials. By working with a CRO, sponsors can increase their efficiency, which leads to decreases in cost and time, enabling medical advancements to get to patients faster.

Furthermore, by ensuring that preclinical studies adhere to quality assurance at each step of the process, the CRO helps follow good laboratory practice (GLP), keeping those working on the preclinical studies safe while also producing higher-quality medical products.