New CenterWatch study shows investigative sites see revenue, clinical trial volume growth amid signs of recovery

Monday, April 2, 2012 08:00 AM

Investigative sites worldwide see encouraging signs of financial recovery, according to a new 2012 CenterWatch study benchmarking global investigative site workload, staffing and financial performance.  Results of the study, published in the April issue of The CenterWatch Monthly, reveal sites are rebounding, with growth in both headcount and revenue during the past year.

In its most extensive benchmark study of investigative site operations in a decade, CenterWatch has analyzed financial and operating data from 257 global sites.  The results offer valuable insights not only for investigative sites, but also for sponsors and CROs that manage research centers around the world. A complimentary sample of the summary report and data is available here

Although investigative sites report a 9.4% average operating margin, reports of annual profit growth are mixed: North American sites saw a decline in profitability, while European sites saw a 3.4% increase in profits between 2010 and 2011.  The study also finds that the typical investigative site saw growth in clinical trial activity and patient volume, as well as improved cash flow.

But sites remain cautious. While clinical trial activity is expected to increase in 2012, sites are wary about the lingering effects of poor global economic conditions and the majority does not plan to expand operations in 2012.

“The good news is that conditions are improving, but investigative sites are approaching the prospect of economic recovery with caution,” said CenterWatch COO Joan Chambers. “Although clinical grant spending and activity overall has increased, sites have been forced to manage in a tumultuous economic climate, and to do more with fewer dollars under ever tighter regulatory guidelines.”

In its May issue, CenterWatch will release part two of this study, comparing investigative site financial and operating benchmarks by research center size and for-profit and not-for-profit status.

Read an excerpt from this feature article, purchase a copy of the April issue or subscribe to The CenterWatch Monthly online at, email or call (617) 948-5100. You’ll receive the full summary report with 20 data and methodology charts.

About CenterWatch

Founded in 1994, CenterWatch is a trusted source and global destination of clinical trials information for both professionals and patients. CenterWatch provides a wide variety of information services including grant leads for investigative sites; business development leads for contract service providers; postings of career opportunities; listings of clinical trials actively seeking patients; advertising and promotional opportunities; and proprietary business analysis and data about the global clinical trials industry. Visit



Cheryl Rosenfeld


(617) 948-5172



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