Bioinformatics uses computers to store and evaluate molecular biological data. This data is stored in a digital format. Bioinformatics can help solve complex problems of molecular biology. It can also help predict the outcome of biological processes and simulate macromolecules. In short, bioinformatics can be referred to describe any use of computers for the purpose of biology. Bioinformatics can also be defined as the science of understanding, managing, and processing biological information. It is often focused on obtaining biologically oriented data, managing this information into databases, and developing methods to integrate pertinent data from disparate sources.
According to the market research firm Persistence Market Research (PMR), the global bioinformatics market was valued at US$4,110.6 million in 2014, the global bioinformatics market will be worth US$12,542.4 million by 2020, with a healthy CAGR of 20.4% during the forecast period of 2014-2020.
History of Bioinformatics Industry
During the beginning of the 21st century, scientists started sequencing genomes. This data was stored on computers, which allowed scientists to use bioinformatics to model and track the number of interesting findings. One of these applications helped deduce evolutionary change in a species. Observing, examining, and recording the changes in a genome over time helped evolutionary biologists trace evolution as it occurred. One of the most well-known applications of the bioinformatics markets is sequence analysis. In this analysis, DNA sequences of several organisms are stored in databases for easy comparison and retrieval. The Human Genome Project started in 1990 is a well-known example of sequence analysis applied by bioinformatics. Thanks to this project, the efforts in the bioinformatics industry intensified, rising to the challenge of managing large amounts of DNA sequence data generated at an unprecedented rate. Till the mid-to-late-1990s, the R&D efforts in the bioinformatics market centered on genomic data created by private companies, the Human Genome Project, and proteomic (protein) data.
Present of Bioinformatics Industry
The global bioinformatics market has grown significantly since the late 1990s. Currently, the market is segmented into various sub-sectors. The global bioinformatics market is categorized majorly into medical biotechnology, academics, gene therapy, agriculture biotechnology, animal biotechnology, environment biotechnology, and forensic biotechnology. Bioinformatics finds its application in genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics, molecular phylogenomics, and chemoinformatics and drug design.
The growing applications of bioinformatics in drug discovery and development, and bioinformatics support development of biomarkers for safer drugs are contributing to the growth of the bioinformatics market. In addition, nanopore sequencing technology provides a good opportunity for companies in the market to expand their operations. Two of the latest trends influencing the bioinformatics market include a growing number of mergers and acquisitions and new product innovation. Geographically, North America is dominating the global bioinformatics market due to accelerating applications of bioinformatics in drug discovery and increasing IT applications in bioinformatics. Currently, Life Technologies is one of the leading companies in the bioinformatics market. Other major corporations operating in this industry include Bio-Rad Laboratories, Affymetrix, Inc., and Agilent Technologies.
Future of Bioinformatics Industry
Some of the key drivers which will influence the growth of the global bioinformatics market include rising support for bioinformatics in the development of personalized medicines and clinical diagnostics, and increasing need for integrated bioinformatics systems in genomics and proteomics. On the other hand, high cost, lack of skilled professionals, and lack of interoperability among data formats will suppress the growth of the bioinformatics market. Geographically, the Asia-Pacific region promises the fastest growth rate during the forecast period, due to increasing government initiatives for R&D and improving IT infrastructure.