NC's Contract Research Organizations

Research. Patients. Data. Results.

Contract research organizations (CROs) operate in many capacities to support the work of healthcare innovators and help move therapies from idea to market. CROs support pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies and research institutions with a wide range of services, including:

  • Clinical Trials Management

  • Patient Recruiting

  • Project Management

  • Regulatory Affairs

NCBiotech is working with partners from around the state to drive strategy and support of North Carolina's CRO industry. By working together to expand the clinical-based workforce and awareness of NC's CRO community, North Carolina will continue to be a global leader in this key life science sector.

North Carolina Clinical Trial Management Companies and Support Organizations
Clinical Trial Management Companies and Support Organizations in North Carolina

North Carolina: The Birthplace of CROs

In the early 80s, contract research pioneers Quintiles, now IQVIA, and PPD were both founded in North Carolina.

Today, CROs are dispersed throughout the state, with major clusters in the Research Triangle region and southeastern NC, providing easy access to life science companies who are ready to move into the next stage of commercialization.

North Carolina's CRO industry includes companies and support organizations that have a strong focus in clinical trial management. The functions of these companies include clinical study management and monitoring, project management and patient recruitment.

View of complete list of clinical trial companies in the NCBiotech Company Directory.

Clinical Trial Management Landscape in NC

microscope icons
4,500+

open clinical trials

building
250+

companies & support orgs.

people
13,000+

employees

Currently in North Carolina, there are more than 4,500 open clinical trials. This includes trials that are active as well as enrolling by invitation and preparing to recruit. 

The state's clinical trial management industry includes over 250 companies that are specialized in clinical trial management and support organizations that offer a variety of services. The companies that are specialized in clinical trial management employ more than 13,000 people.

 

The North Carolina CRO Collaborative

NCBiotech has convened a group of industry and academic partners in this sector, called the North Carolina CRO Collaborative, to address challenges and develop solutions that will strengthen the CRO industry in North Carolina. One goal of this dedicated initiative is to grow the clinical trial management workforce in North Carolina. Learn more about the Collaborative.

 

CROs with NC Headquarters

CATO Research
Clinipace Clinical Research
Clintec logo
CMED
Duke Clinical Research Institute
FHI Clinical
Health Decisions
High Point Clinical Trials
IQVIA
IQVIA Biotech
North Carolina Clinical Research
Parexel
PPD
PRA Health Sciences
Premier Research
Pulmonix logo
Rho
Syneos Health
TAB Clinical logo
TARGET pharmasolutions logo
Worldwide Clinical

NC CRO CollaborativeNorth Carolina CRO Collaborative

The North Carolina CRO Collaborative was brought together to address and support the needs of the CRO industry. The immediate goals of the CRO Collaborative are to improve and expand clinical-based workforce development in North Carolina through curriculum enhancement and development as well as increase awareness of CRO industry trends and career opportunities throughout the state.

The committee is comprised of representatives from eight CROs, eight academic institutes (both clinical research training programs and university-affiliated clinical site programs), and one hospital system. 

The CRO Collaborative has recently developed ten job profiles which can be used to educate students about career opportunities in the CRO industry.

Industry Partners

  • Cato Research

    Cato Research provides contract research services, including preclinical and clinical study design and management, regulatory assessments, data management and statistics, CMC program management, medical writing and submission of regulatory documents.

  • Covance

    Covance, the drug development business of LabCorp, provides a wide range of early-stage and late-stage product development services primarily to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

  • Duke Clinical Research Institute

    Duke is one of the largest biomedical research enterprises in the country, with nearly $798 million in sponsored research expenditures annually. The Duke University School of Medicine includes the research efforts of more than 2,500 basic science and clinical faculty members who strive to transform medicine and health, locally and globally, through innovative scientific research and rapid translation of breakthrough discoveries. Their research, which extends from the bench to the bedside, has resulted in some of the world’s most significant medical and biological discoveries and has resulted in innovative new treatments for a wide range of human diseases.

  • IQVIA

    IQVIA provides technology-enabled healthcare services to help biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical companies develop new therapies, identify unmet treatment needs and understand the safety, effectiveness and value of pharmaceutical products.

  • NCBIO

    NCBIO is the trade association for the North Carolina life science industry.  Its members include clinical research organizations, pharmaceutical, biologics, and medical device companies, and other life science and supporting businesses.

  • PPD

    PPD is a global contract research organization that provides comprehensive, integrated drug development, laboratory and lifecycle management services to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations.

  • PRA Health Sciences

    PRA Health Sciences partners with biotech and pharmaceutical companies to conduct clinical research and trial services for all phases of drug clinical development. In short, PRA does our part to ensure life-saving drugs get to market.

  • PSI

    PSI is a privately-owned, full-service clinical research organization operating globally. PSI’s global reach supports clinical trials across multiple countries and continents, and is known to be highly selective about the work that they pursue. With an exceptionally high repeat and referral business rate combined with minimal staff turnover, PSI is committed to being the best CRO in the world as measured by its employees, sponsors, sites, and vendors.

  • Syneos Health

    Syneos Health is an end-to-end, fully integrated biopharmaceutical solutions company that works differently – bringing together the best clinical and commercial minds to create a better, smarter, faster way to get medicines into the hands of patients who need it most.

Academic Programs and Clinical Sites

  • Cabarrus College of Health Sciences

    Cabarrus College of Health Sciences is a robust educational institution that offers degrees in seven health science disciplines. The state-of-the-art campus is located on the grounds of Atrium Health Cabarrus where students learn in immersive healthcare environments.

  • Campbell University Clinical Research

    Campbell University provides foundational and advanced knowledge of Clinical Research through its Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs. Our programs include study and application in product development, clinical trial operations, study design, data management, regulatory affairs, medical ethics, scientific writing, and biostatistical literacy. The curricula represents a combination of scholarly theory and real-world experience. Graduates are qualified to work as clinical investigators, clinical research associates, clinical research coordinators, data research coordinators, project support, project managers, data managers, safety specialists, regulatory managers, and other relevant positions.

  • Durham Tech Community College

    Durham Tech offers a Clinical Trials Research Associate curriculum- accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)- that includes its AAS degree and several certificate program offerings. Durham Tech’s AAS degree remains the only clinical research AAS program in the nation to achieve CAAHEP accreditation. The Clinical Trials Research program was established at Durham Tech in 1998 and has evolved with the growth of the industry to prepare students to assist physicians and clinical researchers in the initiation, administration, coordination, and management of clinical research studies for the development of new drugs, clinical products, and treatment regimens. The majority of the AAS degree program and all of the certificate programs can be completed through online or on-campus classes.

  • University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW)

    UNCW offers multiple nationally ranked clinical research programs within the College of Health and Human Services. Students gain a broad understanding of the science, regulatory, and business aspects of developing new therapies whether they are new to the field, looking for a career change, or seeking career advancement. UNCW provides students flexible, online learning experiences to complete a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Research, Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Clinical Research Operations, or Master of Science in Clinical Research and Product Development. Also, UNCW provides the clinical research community: FuseCR and the Center for Clinical Research Workforce Development.

  • NC Central University (NCCU)

    NCCU's Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) offers students the knowledge and tools needed to function at a high level in clinical research positions in local and global industry.

  • Duke University

    Duke is one of the largest biomedical research enterprises in the country, with nearly $798 million in sponsored research expenditures annually. The Duke University School of Medicine includes the research efforts of more than 2,500 basic science and clinical faculty members who strive to transform medicine and health, locally and globally, through innovative scientific research and rapid translation of breakthrough discoveries. Their research, which extends from the bench to the bedside, has resulted in some of the world’s most significant medical and biological discoveries and has resulted in innovative new treatments for a wide range of human diseases.

  • Wake Forest University

    The Wake Forest University School of Medicine Office of Clinical Research focuses on protocol implementation, study coordination, data and regulatory management, clinical trial budget development, internal auditing and clinical trial education.

  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    The North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (TraCS) is the academic home of the NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Awards at UNC Chapel Hill. Through improving the efficiency of research, training the research workforce, and sharing successful research methods, TraCS supports its mission to accelerate clinical and translational research from health science to discovery to dissemination to patients and communities. TraCS partners with the UNC Network for Research Professionals in efforts to improve knowledge about clinical research careers. The network promotes excellence in the conduct of clinical, social, and translational research at UNC through a forum of education, professional development and mentoring programs.

Clinical Sites

  • Atrium Health

    Atrium Health medical faculty, affiliated physicians, residents and fellows are involved in clinical research targeting specific illnesses, from cancer and emergency medicine, to pediatrics and surgery, and more.

Supporting Institutions

  • NCBIO

    NCBIO is the trade association for the North Carolina life science industry. It’s members include clinical research organizations, pharmaceutical, biologics, and medical device companies, and other life science and supporting businesses.

  • North Carolina Biotechnology Center

    The North Carolina Biotechnology Center is a private, nonprofit corporation that transforms North Carolina’s life science opportunities into economic prosperity through innovation, commercialization, education and business growth. NCBiotech fosters growth in the life sciences through funding, research services, and targeted initiatives in addition to economic development and recruitment activities.

Academic Programs: Clinical Research

Clinical research is an integral part of the CRO industry. Whether you are just getting started in field of clinical research, or want to expand your expertise, North Carolina's academic institutions have a number of programs that can help advance your career in this growing industry.

 

  • Cabarrus College of Health Sciences

    Certificate

    Cabarrus College of Health Sciences is a robust educational institution that offers degrees in seven health science disciplines. The state-of-the-art campus is located on the grounds of Atrium Health Cabarrus where students learn in immersive healthcare environments.

  • Campbell University Clinical Research

    BS | MS

    The Campbell University Clinical Research programs equip students with the knowledge and training to pursue careers as clinical researchers in the contract research organization industry. Campbell University offers a bachelors and masters of science in Clinical Research, as well as dual master degree programs.

  • Durham Technical Community College

    Certificate | AAS

    Durham Tech offers a Clinical Trials Research Associate curriculum- accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)- that includes its AAS degree and several certificate program offerings. Durham Tech’s AAS degree remains the only clinical research AAS program in the nation to achieve CAAHEP accreditation. The Clinical Trials Research program was established at Durham Tech in 1998 and has evolved with the growth of the industry to prepare students to assist physicians and clinical researchers in the initiation, administration, coordination, and management of clinical research studies for the development of new drugs, clinical products, and treatment regimens. The majority of the AAS degree program and all of the certificate programs can be completed through online or on-campus classes.

  • Duke University

    MS

    Duke is one of the largest biomedical research enterprises in the country, with nearly $798 million in sponsored research expenditures annually. The Duke University School of Medicine includes the research efforts of more than 2,500 basic science and clinical faculty members who strive to transform medicine and health, locally and globally, through innovative scientific research and rapid translation of breakthrough discoveries. Their research, which extends from the bench to the bedside, has resulted in some of the world’s most significant medical and biological discoveries and has resulted in innovative new treatments for a wide range of human diseases.

  • Forsyth Technical Community College

    Certificate

    The Clinical Trials Certificate at Forsyth Technical Community College prepares individuals to assist with research studies in a variety of settings including medical centers, hospitals, pharmaceutical industries, clinics, research facilities, nanotechnology and biotechnology companies, and physicians’ offices. To enroll in this certificate program the student must have already completed a science or health related degree, certification, or license.

  • NC Central University (NCCU)

    Certificate | BS

    NCCU's Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) offers students the knowledge and tools needed to function at a high level in clinical research positions in local and global industry.

  • University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW)

    Certificate | BS | MS

    UNCW offers multiple nationally ranked clinical research programs within the College of Health and Human Services. Students gain a broad understanding of the science, regulatory, and business aspects of developing new therapies whether they are new to the field, looking for a career change, or seeking career advancement. UNCW provides students flexible, online learning experiences to complete a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Research, Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Clinical Research Operations, or Master of Science in Clinical Research and Product Development. Also, UNCW provides the clinical research community: FuseCR and the Center for Clinical Research Workforce Development.

  • Wake Forest University

    CRM

    The Wake Forest University Master of Science in Clinical Research Management (CRM) program provides a holistic approach for students in clinical research. Designed for those working in or entering the clinical research field, this degree program expands participants’ knowledge of both the macro and micro aspects of the clinical research ecosystem and is focused on an overarching vision to shape and impact the future of healthcare. 

Explore Careers in the CRO Industry

From foundational roles in clinical operations and research to biometrics and financial analysis, there are multiple ways to get started with a career in North Carolina's CRO industry. View the careers below to get more information on salary, on-the-job duties and educational requirements.

 

Find Your Element

There are hundreds of reasons a career in clinical research will help you find your element. Learn why clinical research is a great career choice, hear from professionals in the field, and sign up for more information about careers in clinical research on the Find Your Element website.

About the Find Your Element Campaign

Thanks to the support of the ACRP Partners in Workforce Advancement, the Association of Clinical Research Professionals launched ‘Find Your Element’ to help raise awareness of the clinical research profession among college students.

IQVIA logo
Durham-based IQVIA is managing an Australian clinical study of hydroxychloroquin to prevent a COVID-19 infection
ViiV logo
ViiV Healthcare, a global HIV specialty company with U.S. headquarters in RTP, says preliminary clinical trial results show its every-other-month injectable is more effective than the current standard-of-care daily oral medication in preventing HIV.
Opaganib bottle
RedHill Biopharma has received approval to test its investigational COVID-19 drug, opaganib, in the United States.
Grifols' 233-acre manufacturing site in Clayton.
Grifols is collecting a blood product from recovered COVID-19 patients to develop a possible treatment for the coronavirus disease.
Chimerix logo
Durham-based Chimerix is another step closer to getting the final go-ahead for its novel smallpox treatment.
Chimerix logo
Durham-based Chimerix has gotten the green light from the FDA to test an investigational cancer drug to treat COVID-19 patients.
RedHill logo
RedHill Biopharma, an Israeli specialty company with U.S. headquarters in Raleigh, says all six COVID-19 patients who recently received its investigative drug, opaganib, got better. 
Grifols' 233-acre manufacturing site in Clayton.
People who have recovered from COVID-19 may donate potentially lifesaving plasma at UNC, and Grifols is also collecting it at plasma donor sites elsewhere around the country.
RedHill logo
RedHill Biopharma is another step closer to getting one of its potential treatments for COVID-19 tested.
Q2 Solutions logo
Q2 Solutions, a clinical trial laboratory services organization headquartered in Morrisville, has teamed up with the University of Texas Medical Branch to develop an assay for analyzing COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

For more information, contact:

 

Vivian Doelling, Ph.D.

 

Vivian W. Doelling, Ph.D.
Vice President, Emerging Company Development
Emerging Company Development
919-549-8859 | vivian_doelling@ncbiotech.org

 

 

Laura Rowley, Ph.D.

 

Laura Rowley, Ph.D.
Director, Life Science Economic Development
Life Science Economic Development
919-549-8864 | laura_rowley@ncbiotech.org