Study: Genomics, outsourcing fuel double-digit growth in bioinformatics

The bioinformatics market is on track for sizable growth over the next 6 years, with heavy demand from researchers in genomics and biopharma, according to a new report from Transparency Market Research. The market is expected to jump from $2.3 billion in 2012 to $9.1 billion in 2018, according to the firm's findings, and the massive growth points to a market that is firing on many cylinders.

The big numbers may not come as a surprise. Scientists rely heavily on bioinformatics tools to organize fast-growing amounts of complex biological information nowadays. And Transparency points to demand from developers of drugs, diagnostics and agricultural products, as well as from other researchers as key drivers of demand for bioinformatics in the coming years.

Once a bit of a backwater of new business activity, bioinformatics is the focus of a bevy of software providers that have emerged over the past several years, many of them hellbent on enabling better ways of slicing and dicing genomics data to aid life sciences researchers. Illumina ($ILMN), Life Technologies ($LIFE), PerkinElmer ($PKI) and other major genomics players have boosted their stakes in bioinformatics, investing in the field amid expectations for analytics software to have broad impacts on healthcare.

Life Technologies, for instance, last month acquired cancer bioinformatics outfit Compendia Bioscience as the buyer sought to gain technology to beef up its offerings in the diagnostics market. Illumina, the largest provider of DNA sequencing systems, has set up BaseSpace to provide an online store of informatics tools that its customers can use to analyze genomic data from its sequencers. And PerkinElmer has partnered with TIBCO Spotfire to build up its analytics capabilities.

Transparency foresees growth from companies that tackle bioinformatics from pharma companies that outsource those activities as well. And if the firm's lofty market growth figures are on target, a bunch of these major movers and shakers are poised to make a lot of money.

- here's the release from Transparency Market Research