– A report by ValueNotes in collaboration with KnowGenix (published Dec. 2007)
Bioinformatics can be defined as the application of information sciences to biology. The need for bioinformatics arises in every stage of the pharmaceutical drug discovery and development process. Increasing cost and timelines for developing a new drug and lower R&D productivity have compelled global research companies to cut costs and time. Further, huge amounts of data are being generated as many genomes (besides the human genome) are being sequenced. Handling, storage, retrieval and analysis of this data for use in new drug discovery and development have necessitated the emergence of sophisticated bioinformatics tools and services.
The offshoring of bioinformatics services to India has been driven by the growing demand for biotechnology products, India’s rich biodiversity driving its clinical trials industry, a strong base for pharmaceutical research and development and IT services, and well-educated low cost English speaking human capital. Government initiatives through establishment of public sector infrastructure and research labs are supporting India’s goal to emerge as a significant participant in the global bioinformatics industry. India’s entry into the product patent regime in 2005 has further boosted the confidence of buyers to outsource bioinformatics services to India. However, ambiguity of data security laws could hamper India’s growth going forward.
The Indian bioinformatics vendor space comprises pure play bioinformatics service providers, multinationals and IT companies servicing the life sciences vertical. Pharma and biotech CRAMS players have also started offering informatics services. Indian vendors offer integrated bioinformatics solutions such as biological and chemical databases, data analysis, data mining, bio-medical text mining and customized tool development among others.
The ValueNotes / KnowGenix report forecasts that the Indian bioinformatics services outsourcing opportunity is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25% rising from USD 32 million in 2007 to USD 62 million by 2010. This opportunity ranges from LIMS, enterprise solutions, improved database utility, data management tools, to exportable software that can be shared. However, to capture this opportunity, vendors need to establish credibility through success of past projects, by demonstrating a strong technical capability, establishing strong overseas relationships, and training end users in the use of bioinformatics tools.
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