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|The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. (August 2012)|
A Contract Research Organization, also called a Clinical Research Organization, (CRO) is a service organization that provides support and/or services for clinical trials. CROs support the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries as well as foundations, research institutions, and universities, in addition to governmental organizations (such as the NIH, EMEA, etc.). There are over 1,100 CROs in the world, despite continued trends toward consolidation (many CROs are being acquired in recent times or others go out of business). It is a very fragmented industry with the top 10 controlling 56.1% of the market in 2008 and down to 55% in 2009. One estimate had the size of the market set to reach $24 billion in 2010 and set to grow at a rate of 8.5% through 2015.