Boutique CROs: Being David in the Land of Goliaths by KCAS


KCAS Bioanalytical and Biomarker Services

buddys-pictureIn today’s drug development arena, massive, multinational CROs dominate the industry. They offer a “one stop shop” suite of services covering Early Development to Phase IV Clinical Trials and everything in between.

Although multinational CROs are the powerhouse of drug development, their size limits their flexibility. Due to their immense infrastructure and overhead, they must focus their efforts on programs typically sponsored by big pharma. More often than not, small to medium size pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies and start-ups find their needs are deferred or outright ignored by the big multinationals.

In my 35 year career in both the Pharma and CRO space, I have discovered many excellent boutique CROs. These CROs provide drug development services to hundreds of companies attempting the complex process of bringing a drug to market. Their size allows them to be more responsive and personal in their client interactions. They tend to be more heavily invested in the client’s goals and I have personally experienced a higher level of hospitality. While they don’t do everything under the umbrella, what they DO do, they generally do very well.

KCAS has had the unique experience in its 40 years of business to have been both an independent bioanalytical lab, as well as part of a larger umbrella CRO. With all of the contraction in the marketplace, we now have customers coming to us not solely, but certainly partly, because we are an independent CRO. Why is that? While we can’t unilaterally speak for them, the reasons they tell us are because we are financially stable, have a clean FDA track record, low turnover rates (especially among our scientific staff), serve our core business (PK/PD analysis) but also have unique, cutting edge platforms available.

As a functional service provider we HAVE to be good. We don’t have other service lines to hide behind. Our continued and future success depends on providing reliable, defendable data to our clients. While our physical building may be modest, the lack of marble and glass keeps prices down, and you can be assured we invest in our team, our equipment, and our capabilities.

As a company we take pride in the experience we provide our clients as reflected in our published mission, vision and values. We strive to embody these ideals in every interaction we have with clients. If you find our principles align with your perception of our company and what you value in a CRO, then you may consider a partnership with KCAS.



About the Author and BIOCOM CRO Board Member