The world market for pharmaceutical contract research and manufacturing services (PCRAMS) is set to grow by an average of 13.6% a year to 2017, by which time it will be worth $136 billion, up from $72 billion in 2012, according to new forecasts.

The overall global PCRAMS industry, which includes revenues from both contract research organisations (CROs) and contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs), has experienced significant growth since 2000, when it was valued at $21 billion, according to the projections, which are published by the Chemical Pharmaceutical Generic Association (CPA), an organisation representing manufacturers of generic active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in Italy.

In 2012, CMOs accounted for two-thirds of the global market, at around $47 billion, and CROs for the remaining $25 billion, it says. The biggest segment of the CMO market was for contract manufacturing of APIs and intermediates, which represented 64% of the market as a whole and $30 billion in revenues, while within this sector 60% of the business was represented by toll manufacturing, valued at $18 billion, and custom synthesis accounted for the remaining 40%, worth $12 billion.

The CPA is forecasting that the global CRO market is set to experience average growth of 11.4% a year to 2017, reaching a value of $43 billion by then from $25 billion last year, while the annual increase for worldwide CMO operations will average 14.6%, growing from $47 billion to $93 billion during the period. 

The US currently dominates the global PCRAMS market and will still lead in 2017, when it will account for 24.9% of the total, but this will be a marked decline on the 33.7% share of the market held by US players in 2012. Western European CROs and CMOs will also see their share of the global market decline, from 25% in 2012 to 17.1% by 2017.

In contrast, the fastest growth will be seen for players from the Asia Pacific region, and particularly India, whose global market share is set to soar from just 8.3% in 2012 to 21.3% in 2017, when it will become the second-largest market after the US.

And the share of the PCRAMS market held by China is also set to grow speedily, from 12.2% to 19.2% in 2017, the report adds.