Global Drug Discovery Services Market Size to Reach USD 18.06 Billion in 2022 | Emergen Research

According to latest study from Emergen Research, the global drug discovery services market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.7% from 2016 to 2022 to reach USD 18.06 billion by 2022. The growth of this market is primarily driven by the increasing outsourcing of drug discovery activities, growing number of clinical trials, and increased government funding for research and development (R&D).

Drug discovery services are specialized research services that help pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to identify and develop new therapeutic agents. These services are provided by contract research organizations (CROs) that have expertise in various areas of drug discovery, such as target identification and validation, lead optimization, and preclinical development.

Growing R&D expenditure in the pharmaceutical & biopharmaceutical industry and the increasing adoption of contract research organizations (CROs) for drug discovery services are expected to drive the growth of the global drug discovery services market.

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Most pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and medical device companies invest heavily in R&D activities for the development of new drugs and therapies. Also, the number of clinical trials being conducted globally has increased in recent years. This increase can be attributed to the growing prevalence of chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, and the need for effective treatments for these conditions.

According to the EvaluatePharma report, the global pharmaceutical R&D expenditure is expected to reach USD 1,069 billion by 2023 from USD 914 billion in 2018, at a CAGR of 4.4%. Thus, the growing R&D expenditure is expected to fuel the growth of the drug discovery services market during the forecast period.

The rising R&D expenditure is also driving the adoption of CROs for drug discovery services. The use of CROs helps pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies to reduce the time and cost associated with drug discovery and development.

Some Key Highlights from the Report

  • The target identification and validation segment is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The target identification and validation segment includes services such as target gene sequencing, target protein expression, and cell-based assays. These services are used to identify potential drug targets and validate their efficacy in treating diseases.
  • The lead optimization segment is expected to grow at the second-highest CAGR during the forecast period. The lead optimization segment includes services such as medicinal chemistry, in silico screening, and in vitro screening. These services help in identifying small molecule drugs that can bind to the target protein and modulate its activity.

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  • The preclinical development segment is expected to grow at the third-highest CAGR during the forecast period. The preclinical development segment includes services such as pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies, toxicology studies, and IND-enabling studies. These services help in assessing the safety and efficacy of lead compounds in animal models before moving to clinical trials.
  • North America is expected to account for the largest share of the global drug discovery services market in 2016. The large share of this regional segment is primarily attributed to the presence of a large number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, growing number of clinical trials, and increasing government funding for R&D activities in this region.
  • The Asia-Pacific region is expected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. The growth of the Asia-Pacific drug discovery services market is driven by the increasing outsourcing of drug discovery activities to CROs in this region, growing number of clinical trials, and increased government funding for R&D activities.

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Drug Discovery Services Market: Competitive Landscape

Advancements in the drug discovery services coupled with product launches by significant companies and strategic alliances between pharmaceutical and drug discovery services companies. Some key players operating in the global Drug Discovery Services Market are:

  • Albany Molecular Research, Inc.
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Evotec
  • Covance
  • GenScript
  • Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLC
  • SRI International
  • WuXiAppTec
  • Charles River Laboratories International
  • Selcia Limited
  • Viva Biotech
  • Domainex
  • Merck KGaA
  • Others

Drug Discovery Services Market Segmentation


  • Target Selection
  • Target Validation
  • Lead Optimization
  • Candidate Validation
  • Others


  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Biology Services
  • Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism

Drug Type

  • Biologics
  • Small Molecules

Therapeutic Area

  • Neurology
  • Diabetes
  • Oncology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases
  • Respiratory Illnesses
  • Others

End-User Industry

  • Hospital & Clinics
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Biotech Companies
  • Research Institutes
  • Others

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