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GEN News Highlights : Sep 19, 2006

Success Strategy for Bioinformatics Market Outlined

Bioinformatics will increasingly become a necessity for a wide spectrum of life sciences, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology companies, according to Frost & Sullivan.

As the number of market participants increases, purchasers will have an edge, as the range of available tools expands. To succeed, market participants will need to offer cost-effective, easy-to-use, and more widely applicable solutions. Outsourcing is expected to emerge as a definitive trend in the bioinformatics industry.

“Strong growth is projected for bioinformatics, which is the key to tackling long-standing problems in the life sciences arena,” notes Frost & Sullivan research analyst Sumitha Kannan. “However, as competition intensifies, strategic partnerships and outsourcing will be the business models that will ensure success.”

From being solely a science of comparison and analysis of gene and protein sequences to a more advanced tool that eliminates the need to perform long and sometimes potentially hazardous experimentation, bioinformatics has significantly expanded its application scope.

“Using IT to solve scientific problems is extremely challenging and requires an in-depth knowledge of living systems, an all round understanding of structural, functional, and regulatory processes in living systems, as well as familiarity with advanced computational power,” observes Kannan. “The bioinformatics market is positioned to achieve its maximum potential over the next three to seven years, because biotechnology companies with bioinformatics operations, software firms in bioinformatics, as well as core computer hardware, peripherals, and IT companies will diversify into this area and make concerted efforts in order to realise its full value.”

Informatics-based solutions that help solve biological puzzles will rationalize and streamline the drug discovery process more than was previously possible. This will reduce the cost and time required to bring a medicine from research stage to real-world application.

One of the major challenges in the market will be to achieve cost-competitiveness while simultaneously providing customized solutions. Developing higher flexibility and ease of use in software tools involves longer and more expensive development life cycles. Moreover, product customization typically implies proportionate pricing increases, which reduce affordability, resulting in a restricted client base. At the same time, simple, attractively priced solutions often do not offer full value to customers.

“Realizing cost-effective, tailored solutions will necessitate rethinking conventional business methodologies while making outsourcing a promising strategy,” advises Kannan. “Meeting customer expectations on all counts and promoting customer confidence are challenges that will require participants to plan product and project pipelines only after a thorough examination of current needs.”

To overcome competition from new entrants, incumbents need to introduce new technologies or improve existing products to meet evolving needs. Providing more product features will also help market participants make competitive gains.

“Constant monitoring of new products entering the market and of changing customer preferences will be central to acquiring a leadership position in the bioinformatics market, which is increasingly becoming service driven,” adds Kannan. “With rising demand for complete solutions encompassing training, installation, maintenance, and upgrades, participants should aim at providing clients comprehensive services.”