Market Size and Growth:
  • The UK clinical trials market was valued at £2.3 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach £3.2 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 5.1%.
  • This growth is driven by factors like:
  • Clinical trials: Involve testing the drug on human volunteers in a series of meticulously designed phases:
    • Strong national health system (NHS) infrastructure
    • High patient participation rates
    • Expertise in research and development
    • Government initiatives to support clinical trials
Key Players:
  • Pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies: Global giants like GSK, AstraZeneca, and Roche have significant presence alongside smaller UK-based companies.
  • Contract research organizations (CROs): Iqvia, Syneos Health, and Parexel hold major shares, with local players like Oxford Clinical Research Unit gaining traction.
  • Clinical research sites: NHS hospitals, academic medical centers, and specialist research institutes like the NIHR Clinical Research Network play a vital role.
  • Technology and data analytics companies: Companies like Medidata Solutions and Veeva Systems offer solutions for trial management and data analysis.
Number of People Employed:

Several key players contribute to the success of clinical research:

  • Estimates suggest 200,000 people are directly or indirectly employed in the UK clinical trials market, accounting for around 3% of the global workforce.
  • This includes researchers, clinicians, nurses, data analysts, and administrative personnel.
Key Trends:
  • Decentralized clinical trials: Increasing focus on community settings and telehealth to improve patient access and participation.
  • Focus on rare diseases and personalized medicine: Addressing unmet medical needs and tailoring treatments to individual patients.
  • Adoption of digital technologies: Using telemedicine, wearables, and e-consent platforms to enhance trial efficiency and engagement.
  • Increased data sharing and collaboration: Initiatives like the UK Digital Health and Care Data Strategy aim to facilitate research collaboration.
  • Emphasis on patient-centricity: Involving patients in trial design, decision-making, and outcome reporting.
  • The UK maintains a leading position in Phase I clinical trials globally but lags other European countries in Phase II and III studies.
  • Oncology and neuroscience are the leading therapeutic areas for clinical trials in the UK.
  • The future of the UK clinical market hinges on addressing challenges like talent shortages, navigating the post-Brexit landscape, and maintaining competitiveness in the global arena.
Effects of Brexit on the UK Clinical Market:
  • Changes in regulatory landscape: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has replaced the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for drug approvals, creating some initial uncertainty.
  • Potential impact on patient recruitment: Concerns about UK trial participation in European research networks, though initiatives like Horizon Europe aim to maintain collaboration.
  • Opportunities for domestic growth: Potential increase in government funding and focus on UK-based clinical trials.