CLC bio capitalizes on surge in DNA sequencing

CLC bio wants the world to know that business is good, but the world might be more interested in why its business has taken off. The Danish provider of bioinformatics software touts today that its software sales shot up 30% in 2012 with an equal jump in its number of employees.

Now with more than 100 workers, CLC says that it has been profitable for three years straight. How profitable? The privately held company doesn't share that level of financial detail with the public. Yet as non-publicly traded software companies sometimes do, CLC has highlighted its financial strength and growing capacity to invest in product development--likely music to the ears of its more than 2,000 customers.

In September, the company expanded beyond this field with the buyout of Molegro, expanding CLC's presence in the market for drug discovery software. Noting that Molegro was the first company CLC had acquired, CEO Thomas Knudsen stated: "This was a very positive process and we're looking forward to bringing even more drug discovery software to the market in the future."

As one of the largest outfits focused on bioinformatics, CLC could serve as a bellwether for the business. The company says it's the largest business focused on bioinformatics for next-generation sequencing data. This is becoming an increasingly competitive segment of the bioinformatics market, with a slew of companies emerging in recent years to help scientists and recently clinicians extract meaningful information from the billions of data points in human genomes.

CLC bio generates half of its business from U.S. customers such as J. Craig Venter's eponymous institute, which uses the company's bioinformatics software to slice and dice data from sequencing genomes of microbes that inhabit humans. The company also scored some important business in Europe too, with $2.9 milllion in income from European Union-backed projects such as STATegra and PATHSEEK.

The volume of sequencing experiments has skyrocketed into the thousands per year as decoding DNA becomes dramatically less expensive than when Venter's crew first mapped out the human genome roughly a decade ago. And CLC bio is clearly capitalizing on the growing need to analyze the codes to advance breakthroughs in medicine and other fields.

- here's CLC's release