Focus Area Neuroscience

The client

A private equity firm was considering making an investment into neurology-focused, specialty clinical research organizations (CROs), and site management organizations (SMOs).


The client was evaluating an investment in neurology CROs and SMOs and needed to understand the implications of investing in each type of organization, as well as the current and future neurology clinical development landscape, how CROs and SMOs support neurology-focused clinical trials, and drivers and barriers of the evolution of neurology clinical development.


We built an asset and trial database categorized by eight neurology segments (Cognitive Neurological Disorders, Pain Management, Psychiatry, Movement Disorders, Epilepsy & Seizures, Sleep Disorders, Neuromuscular Disorders, and Substance Abuse) to assess current clinical development, and constructed comprehensive CRO and SMO value chains. We created a stock-and-flow model to mature the neurology pipeline over a 5-year horizon, and determined the level of CRO and SMO involvement and associated market size for each neurology segment.

To probe emerging trends within the neurology clinical research landscape, we interviewed two expert types; those that select and engage CROs or SMOs to conduct neurology clinical research, and those that have expertise in neurology discovery and clinical development.

To identify risks, potential growth areas, and the requirements for unlocking key opportunities, we determined the risks of investment, proposed risk mitigation strategies, and synthesized the range of growth opportunities for a neurology CRO/SMO.

Valued outcome

Current clinical trial landscape mapped through the asset & trial database and projected pipeline maturation over 5-year timeline via a stock-and-flow model
Key growth drivers and potential risks for CRO/SMO investment identified
Client investment strategy solidified through concrete recommendations to acquire CROs/SMOs