Booming Triangle sector has nearly 24,500 workers, up 4 percent year-over-year – List Insights

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One of the Triangle’s more prominent subsets in its burgeoning life sciences is contract research. And this area has become a hotbed for those companies and the workers they attract.

According to data provided by the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, the Triangle is home to 151 contract research and testing companies. Those companies employ about 24,250 – roughly 37 percent of all jobs in Triangle life sciences.

These companies, and hundreds more, have brought thousands of high-paying jobs to the region. That current employment represents about 4 percent year-over-year growth compared to 2018, and a 12.5 percent increase since 2014.

The CRO industry is the subject of one of Triangle Business Journal’s lists this week.

Here’s a closer look at the five largest CROs on this year’s list.

  1. Iqvia (NYSE: IQV) – This firm boasts the largest contingent of local CRO employees in the area after Novella Clinical was rebranded Iqvia Biotech. Iqvia reported more than $11 billion in top-line revenue in 2019 in its full-year report.
  2. RTI International – With 5,000 overall employees – 45 percent of them in the Triangle – RTI extends its reach to 12 countries. It also relies on funding from the National Institutes of Health, of which it got $113.4 million in fiscal year 2019. In the 2021 budget request to the U.S. Congress, the White House has proposed a $38 billion budget for the NIH – a 7 percent cut of $3 billion compared to 2020.
  3. PPD – Wilmington-based Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD) first announced its intention to go public, again, in November and filed preliminary paperwork for its offering in January. The company, with 2,000 employees in the Triangle, plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “PPD.”
  4. Syneos Health (Nasdaq: SYNH) – The Morrisville firm now has support customers in more than 110 countries. Its CEO, Alistair Macdonald, is the current chair of the Association of Clinical Research Organizations based in Washington D.C.
  5. Duke Clinical Research Institute – Hit with a reorganization and layoffs in the spring/summer of last year, DCRI went from 1,300 employees in February 2019 to its current headcount of 1,090. But brighter news surfaced in October and December, when the CRO was awarded two separate contracts of $90 million and $102 million, respectively.

Source: Triangle Business Journal