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Top Clinical Research Organizations (CRO) in the United States

Patricio Ledesma

6 January, 2020

Which are the top clinical research organizations (CRO) in the United States?

The top clinical research organizations (CRO) in the United States are Covance (LabCorp), IQVIA, Syneos Health, PPD, PRA Health Sciences, and Parexel.

Covance (LabCorp)

Covance (CEO Paul Kirchgraber) is a CRO offering preclinical, clinical, and commercialization services for the pharma and biotech industries. Founded in 1996 and with headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey, Covance is a subsidiary of LabCorp and employs more than 50,000 people in over 60 nations. LabCorp’s revenue in 2018 was $11.3 billion.


IQVIA (CEO Ari Bousbib), formerly known as Quintiles, is a multinational CRO providing biopharmaceutical development, laboratory, analytical, and consulting services for phase I-IV clinical trials. Founded in 1982, and with headquarters in Durham, North Carolina, IQVIA has more than 58,000 employees in more than 100 countries. IQVIA’s revenue in 2018 was $10.4 billion.

Syneos Health

Syneos Health (CEO Alistair Macdonald) is a global CRO created through the merger of INC Research and inVentiv Health. Founded in 1984 and based in Morrisville, North Carolina, Syneos Health provides integrated biopharmaceutical solutions bringing together nearly 24,000 employees in more than 110 countries. Syneos Health’s revenue in 2018 was $4.39 billion.


PPD (CEO David Simmons) is a leading global CRO founded in 1985, providing comprehensive drug development, laboratory, and lifecycle management services. PPD’s central offices are located in Wilmington, North Carolina, and has around 23,000 employees around the world. PPD’s annual revenue in 2018 was $2.8 billion.

PRA Health Sciences

PRA Health Sciences (CEO Colin Shannon) is a multinational CRO serving the biopharmaceutical industry. With headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, the company was founded in 1982 and by the end of 2019 employed 15,800 people approximately. PRA Health Sciences’ annual revenue in 2018 was $2.8 billion.


Parexel (CEO Jamie Macdonald) is a global CRO offering biopharmaceutical and clinical trial management services for the clinical research sector. Parexel, founded in 1982, has central offices in Waltham, Massachusetts, and employs around 20,000 professionals operating in more than 51 countries. Parexel’s revenue in 2018 was $2.4 billion.

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