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CROs shifting focus to North India

India is an increasingly attractive destination for R&D activities in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. As companies now have become complacent for holding the view that India is a good place to conduct Clinical trials , they now look forward to chose the best region available in India.

Going further and analyzing Indian market, so far Hyderabad is considered as a key location for the drug manufacturing and Clinical/Contract Research with a majority of units located in and around this city in the south central part of the country. But as of now companies are shifting there focus to other regions also and wants to exploit better opportunities available in other parts of the country as well.

Northern India being an emerging market, companies face a number of unique hurdles and often gets perplexed before entering this lucrative region. As North India is most sought after market theses days,this articles explores scope and feasibility of pharmaceutical,CRO(Clinical/Contract Research Organization) and biotechnology market, and answers the following key questions:


  • Who are the key players in the Northern India CRO market?

  • Regulations environment in northern India

  • The scenario of super specialty hospitals and pool of trained investigators

  • Opportunities available in Northern India for conducting clinical trials?

  • How can companies engage with India for collaboration?


Literally speaking Contract or Clinical Research Organization (CRO) refers to a person or an organization who is contracted to conduct clinical trials and duties with sponsor. India holds a market of $300 to $500 million in the field of Clinical Research Organization(CRO). Where Northern India constitutes ten percent of it and generates revenue of $40 million out of it.


Genetically diverse population and people who have not been exposed to many medications but have a range of diseases from tropical to severe diseases provides a reason strong enough to consider North India the front runner in the race of clinical research.


Adding to the diverse patients, Northern India has highly qualified and skilled doctors,Super specialty hospital,Medical Research Centers for clinical studies and experienced CRO's. Also, Northern India provides the most cost effective clinical trials, that too with the competitive infrastructure available for conducting clinical trials.


Key Players in Indian Pharmaceutical Market



i3 - Its a group company of United Health Group, USA. The area of focus here are-


  • Clinical Trial Project Management

  • Clinical Trial Data Management

  • Pharma Human Resourcing







Area of focus

Fermish Clinical Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

New Delhi

-Clinical trial logistic services

-Regulatory Affairs



Auriga Research

New Delhi

-BA/BE Services


With the meteoric rise of Clinical research sites now more and more sponsors are entering the northern India. The facilities in Northern India are enormous added with the best of the world super specialty hospitals hub located here. When it comes to top hospitals in North India – AIIMS, Apollo, PGI-Lucknow, KGMC Lucknow, RP eye care center-Delhi, SMS Jaipur, PGI-Chandigarh, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer hospital,Max hospital(cardiac and orthopedic care), Fortis hospital are always the central. Similarly the list also goes with institutes offering well equipped human resources for working as a major force in the area of Clinical Rea search, like PGI Chandigarh, Jamia Hamdard, Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical and Research (DIPSAR), National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER),Institute of Clinical Research (India) ICRI and Central Drug Laboratories (CDL) Lucknow.


The scope get enhanced manifold regarding the social structure in northern India. The topmost advantage in northern India is its diverse and huge population. Also all type of ethnic group dwells here enabling mixed patient pool for clinical trials.


Typically, when a new drug is discovered or even in stages of clinical research, Indian regulatory authorities tends to differ with international laws. But , of lately India has pledged to abide by the International guidelines. And this is is the biggest quality that northern India encompasses as major authorities are situated here.


On a closer study as we look onto the Regulatory authority , Director Controller General of India (DCGI) office, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Department of Biotechnology(DBT) are concentrated in Northern India . Considering the fact, scope in northern India is expected to explode clinical trials market tremendously over next five years.


On favorable conditions in northern India we can sum up with following points-


  • All types of climatic conditions

  • Enough HR in North India

  • National Regulatory authority are based in North India

  • Educated accessible manpower.

  • All type of ethnic group thus enabling mix patient pool

  • Well connected to all around the country and the globe.

  • Operational cost is much lower than other part of India

  • Conditions to carry out research is very optimal

  • Availability of largest patient pool and availability of biggest hospital


Scope and potential


The article has explicitly drawn out all the major advantages and points to go for clinical trials in India. But the researchers can also feel glad for the fields which have still been left untouched and can become avant-garde. Where as Northern India possess more than 700 pharmaceutical manufacturing units but surprisingly there's no organization has yet come up with the business to lead in the field. The fields such as Animal research and Phase I / II study centers in clinical trials are the corners that are still untouched, and have a lot of potential. Yet another aspect about scope is that there is not even a single dedicated Central Lab Facility available in North India despite of all other required resources available for it. In addition, being a pool of seasoned writers from medical background, medical writing facility is lacking in Northern part of the country. Also, the area of toxicity study is one of the major area which has been overlooked so far in Northern India.

Dedicated clinical Trial Material manufacturing facility is still the one area which as a matter of fact remains missing not only in the northern India but in entire country as well. But as we go on comparing it with entire country, Northern India holds lot of potential with immense resource available for dedicated clinical trial material manufacturing facility.




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