San Diego’s Life Sciences CROs—The Map of Clinical Research Organizations

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at startups, they tend to be more likely to both catch the entrepreneurial bug and gain the multitasking experience needed to run their own business. “Lacking significant funding, these new entrepreneurs start service businesses that require little or no initial capital outlay. Over time, this small effect becomes large enough to make a difference in the region and it becomes self perpetuating,” Lustig says.

Duane Roth, CEO of San Diego’s Connect, a local nonprofit group established to promote technology and entrepreneurship, sees the proliferation of life sciences CROs as evidence of another trend.

For many years now, Roth says, high-tech companies throughout the United States have been extolling the virtues of working in the Internet “cloud”—a metaphor for the abstract network of servers that host a multitude of online services, software, and data, among other things. Cloud computing enables companies that once built their own networks and hardware, for storing data and operating business applications, to avoid the enormous capital expenditure by renting computer resources from a third-party provider.

“The cloud is where all the data resides, and where the expertise now resides,” Roth says. “The high-tech guys have led the way, but you could argue that even greater savings can be realized by leveraging similar efficiencies in the life sciences sector.”

Instead of incurring the cost of building a laboratory and manufacturing facility to make a new drug compound, Roth says biotech startups nowadays can operate more efficiently—and save money—by turning to CROs, although Roth prefers to use the term “professional service providers,” or PSPs. But his central point remains: “What would have cost $10 million in the mid-1990s now costs $3 million because we go straight to the experts to get the data,” Roth says. In a recent post for the Xconomist Forum, Roth describes PSPs as a key part in an alternative method for supporting technology innovation, which he describes as the “distributed partnering model.”

As a result, Roth says, startups can assess at a much earlier stage whether their technology really can be commercialized—“and they don’t end up owning a vivarium.”

Petersen, who is Assay Depot’s chief information officer, says the map and following list of San Diego CROs “includes every organization that we reasonably think offers scientific services.” After compiling the list, Petersen said he manually excluded certain non-business organizations, such as UCSD. As for its completeness, Petersen says while Assay Depot has the world’s most comprehensive database of preclinical CROs, “you can never be sure you have ‘everyone.'” So let me know if you think your business should be on our list.

Aalto Scientific





Accugent Laboratories

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5 responses to “San Diego’s Life Sciences CROs—The Map of Clinical Research Organizations”

  1. coco says:

    there is a biology company-cd genomics. CD Genomics was established in 2004, we are aiming at providing the research community with high quality Next Generation Sequencing, high throughput microarray services. Due to the demand for our services has being increased; CD Genomics has already updated its technology platform to mainstream NGS and microarray instruments. At present, our senior bioinformaticians have ever viewed more than ten thousands of trace files and accumulated abundant experience with our Illumina HiSeq2000/2500, Illumia Miseq, Ion Torrent PGM, PacBio RS and ABI 3730/3730XL analyzers. We continue to work hard to offer you the same dependable services to pharmaceutical and biotech companies, as well as academia and government agencies for the purpose of satisfying all your sequencing or array needs.

    • coco says:

      cd genomics( is focusing on dna sequeincing, microarray and so on.