Management and Marketing of Bioinformatics Tools

Management and Marketing of Bioinformatics Tools
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  ournal    Engineering,   Computers   &    Applied    Sciences   (JEC&AS   ISSN    No:   2319 ‐ 5606   Volume   2,   No.2,   February    2013    _________________________________________________________________________________   Blue   Ocean   Research    Journals   1   Management and Marketing of Bioinformatics Tools Prof R. Sudhakar , VIT University, Vellore Kuhu Gupta , final year Students, VIT University, Vellore Shushant Kumar , final year Students, VIT University, Vellore ABSTRACT  Bioinformatics can be defined as conceptualization of biology, in specific- Molecular Biology and then application of certain techniques from multiple disciplines such as statistics, computer science and applied mathematics to analyze and understand the vast information related to molecular structures. Hence, its management becomes difficult. The manager must be thorough with the concepts of biology- genetic studies in  particular, as well as information technology. Discussed below is the management process for a project in  Bioinformatics. The main application of bioinformatics is in pharmacological sector. Information technology (IT) acts as a very significant factor in pharmaceutical research and development. IT provides important support to all the  pharmaceutical activities leading to drug discovery and certain operations such as analysis of large repository of data to identify patterns in the available information cannot be performed without IT.  Information Technology is usually applied to:    Store vast amount of biological data.     Analyze this data to help formulate hypothesis and conclusions     Manage the data for the required duration  Besides data management, informatics assists the analysis of large pools of genomic information. Role of IT is effective in cases of target identification, target validation, and lead optimization. Bioinformatics includes gathering, storing, classifying, analyzing, and distributing biological information derived from protein and DNA sequences. The market for Bioinformatics is not very large and so it is unable to support a company built on expensive software programs which are to be used by a small group of workers. Effective strategies must be implemented in order to reach the potential market for bioinformatics. These strategies may aim at increasing the  pharmaceutical market, which has lesser opportunities or it may emphasize on the biological scientists, which has smaller market.  Marketing in bioinformatics is to communicate the value of new tools, algorithms developed and data obtained  from a bioinformatics project to the customers (i.e. scientists, bioinformatics companies). INTRODUCTION The development of bioinformatics has been done in order to achieve better medical treatments for diagnosed as well as undiagnosed disorders. Studying the basic genome structure of a diseased individual and its comparison with a healthy individual, helps identify the mutation or the error. This error can then be easily rectified. The aim is to develop personalized medicine for every individual to mitigate the side effects of the medicines. Apart from medicinal application, Bioinformatics has its use in various other fields, such as:    Agriculture and aquaculture aspects: this includes application of Bioinformatics for developing Bioenergy fuels, to analyze vegetable genome sequence in order to add or remove certain characteristics to the plant.  ournal    Engineering,   Computers   &    Applied    Sciences   (JEC&AS   ISSN    No:   2319 ‐ 5606   Volume   2,   No.2,   February    2013    _________________________________________________________________________________   Blue   Ocean   Research    Journals   2   Genetic vaccines have been developed for fishes in order to obtain healthier fishes and other aquatic animals for farming.    Environmental aspect: certain bacteria, etc. can  be used as biomarkers to detect climatic changes.    Mining aspect: genetic manipulation of certain  bacteria present among the rocks helps extract certain minerals. The basic infrastructure  requirement for any  bioinformatics project is technicians in database management, program coding, defining algorithms and most importantly molecular biology fields. The computer tools and software are another important component of any bioinformatics project. People with expert knowledge of handling and accessing such software must be a part of the  project team. Software such as AUTODOCK, RASMOL, Biochemical Algorithms Library (BALL), Bioclipse, etc and programming languages such as BioPython, BioJava, BioPerl, etc are some examples of I.T. tools essential to  perform any Bioinformatics’ task. The bioinformatics projects are in general, cyclic in nature. The plan is revisited again and again, improvising and correcting it. This is important so as to ensure accurate information is extracted and implemented in the project. A major step involved is risk management. The  basic assessment of risks involved in the process and implementation of mitigating strategies is also necessary for managing the project successfully. B ioinformatics analysis tools are indispensable. They have expedited the development of drugs and lowered the costs associated with the commercialization of new therapeutics. A bioinformatics industry provides software as well as hardware products in order to support the  pharmaceutical and biotechnological sector. The main features of bioinformatics are to analyze and manage the data from genomics and proteomics experiments. The current industry landscape is volatile and experiencing ongoing consolidation and depletion of investment capital. Also, there is a constant need for more convenient and cost-effective tools, driving players to continuously improve upon their existing products. The success of Human Genome Project and invention of many new technologies in drug discovery has led to significant investment opportunities for this industry. This would give the required boost to existing companies which can then grow in size and revenue, and provide opportunities to new players to enter the market segment. Competition in the bioinformatics industry is expected to intensify in near future. As the demand for bioinformatics products is increasing in the US and Europe, the market is set to increase at a significant pace. Added to this would be the equally increasing demand for sequencing platforms in life science research, which use techniques such as gene expression analysis, sequence analysis, and protein expression analysis.   As per the latest research report’s estimation, the global bioinformatics market will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% during 2012-2015 after reaching US$ 3 Billion in 2010. This is the result of decline in the cost of human genome sequencing and increased investment in both public and private sector. According to “Bioinformatics Market Outlook to 2015” survey, the biggest segment of the global  bioinformatics industry in 2010 was the content market. This includes specialized and generalized databases. This is followed by analysis software and services and IT infrastructure. After complete analysis of the wide application of  bioinformatics in genomics, proteomics and  pharmacogenomics, the major market trends in the Bioinformatics segment are outlined below: 1.   The software segment will improve its share in the overall market as a result of its strong  performance in future. 2.   On the other hand, content/database market share will decrease as a result of increased acceptance of innovative analysis software. 3.   The market share of genome studies has improvised and modified cancer research and oncology has become the major therapeutic area supported by bioinformatics. 4.   Small enterprises all over the globe have  begun to outsource different aspects of this field in order to expand their setups. A number of new bioinformatics tools have been launched in the market over past few years. A systematic analysis and research of these products has been done. This research includes country-level analysis and looks into the recent developments of the industry as a whole.   ournal    Engineering,   Computers   &    Applied    Sciences   (JEC&AS   ISSN    No:   2319 ‐ 5606   Volume   2,   No.2,   February    2013    _________________________________________________________________________________   Blue   Ocean   Research    Journals   3   METHODOLOGY Major industries in bioinformatics:    Management in bioinformatics  Let’s discuss the management aspect of  bioinformatics in detail. The first step in managing a bioinformatics project is risk analysis. It is important to estimate the risk factors involved in the process. One of the common risk involved are related to the accuracy of the result. To evaluate any biological process three possible ways exist: in-vivo, in-vitro and in-silico. The former two techniques have high accuracy but can be very time consuming and expensive. In-silico methods are easy to perform and test but can lack accuracy. A combination of the methods is used in general: hypothesis is derived based on in-silico results and verified using in-vitro or in-vivo techniques. Efforts are being made to develop better computational techniques that can provide higher accuracy. Management, in such scenarios, must draw out a well thought plan to go about this  process. It must evaluate the time constraints of the task and decide the method that has to be applied. In case the team members lack knowledge in  particular field, best adopted method is “outsourcing”. This way, lot of time is saved and verified results are achieved from reliable sources. For example, in analysis of protein or DNA molecules, the structures are mostly extracted from PDB or EBI etc., their physical properties are also available in these databases. These structures then can be manipulated or studied to achieve the assigned goal. Other risks involved are related to data storage and its management. Biological data is very vast and occupies lot of computer space and time. Proper managing of this data and its stacking has to be done using database management techniques. DBMS software can either be installed or generated  by the team depending on their requirements. Access to this data, its security etc. must also be  properly managed. Bioinformatics data may include personal information of an individual (e.g. DNA fingerprint, hereditary patterns, etc) or data related to development of a drug. Such data much  be protected with proper security in order to  prevent any kind of misuse. Depending upon the security needs of the project and the budget, proper tools or software are used for privacy maintenance. Most of the bioinformatics projects are associated with a lab performing experiment related to the same issue. Transfer of data from these labs to the technical department must be carried out through authorized channels with reliable security. The next step is to define the resources and facilities for the assignment. The software, databases and lab facilities must be provided to  produce the results. The process must be planned  ournal    Engineering,   Computers   &    Applied    Sciences   (JEC&AS   ISSN    No:   2319 ‐ 5606   Volume   2,   No.2,   February    2013    _________________________________________________________________________________   Blue   Ocean   Research    Journals   4   and well documented so that any new member who  joins the team can be well informed about the  project. The main principle involved in any  bioinformatics process must be explicit and clear in the aim and methods applied in the project. The resources and infrastructure for the project are arranged as per the need. In the beginning of any  project, resource consumption is relatively lower. The work force needed is also less. As the  procedure is planned out and a set of well defined steps are prepared, the work force is further included. Bioinformatics is a field which requires expert level knowledge in more than one subject. The biological and the I.T aspects of the problem need to be handled together to obtain the results. Personnel with such qualifications are given the task of project development. Bioinformatics  projects are cyclic, that is, the same process is checked and rechecked a number of times, each time removing certain errors that are identified while performing the task. At the peak of the  project, maximum resources and infrastructure facilities are in use. This again decreases towards the end as the task approaches completion. Standardization is also another key aspect of management in bioinformatics. The data involved in this field is exchanged extensively between different organizations and labs. Proper annotations and formats have to be defined for every step in the  process. This enables better data transfer and data integration.    Marketing in bioinformatics  As per the report from new market research “Bioinformatics Market – Advanced Technologies, Global Forecast and Winning Imperatives (2009-2014), the global market for bioinformatics is expected to reach $8.3 billion by the year 2014 at a high CAGR of 24.8% from 2009-2014. The knowledge management formed the largest submarket at $1.3 billion in 2009, but in 2014 the  bioinformatics platforms market is expected to have greatest market share at an estimated $3.9  billion. This is a result of increased demand in U.S and Europe. Bioinformatics helps utilization of the gene and  protein data and construct interactive models that aid in identifying disease pathways and effects of compounds. Pharmaceutical firms all over the world are increasingly depending on biotechnology to address concerns related to increasing number of drugs going off-patent, narrow product pipelines, and high drug development costs. Bioinformatics can be applied to different stages in research in  biotechnology and also the pharmaceutical sectors. A number of opportunities for bioinformatics have  been created with the evolution of genomics and its increasing application in the research and development processes.. Bioinformatics based data management tools have helped companies in easing the task of complex R&D analysis, which has further resulted in increased productivity by way of identifying new biomarkers for toxicity and drug efficacy, and diagnostic biomarkers as well as new drug targets. Implementation of genomics in the process of drug discovery is expected to increase in future, thereby magnifying the market prospects for  bioinformatics. Additionally, the investments made in R&D from pharmaceutical companies are expected to increase, of which significant quantity will be reaching the area of bioinformatics. Bioinformatics is considered a multifaceted market, characterized various research and development collaborations. Global market for bioinformatics is  primarily concentrated in the United States and Europe. This industry is, at present, one of the fastest growing fields offering major economic opportunities. The U.S. represents the largest regional market for  bioinformatics all over the world. Next in line is Europe, as stated by the new market research report on Bioinformatics. Asia-Pacific is projected to record the fastest growth over the analysis period. Japanese market is  projected to a CAGR of 13.5% during the analysis  period. Segment wise, Biocontent represents the largest product segment in the global  bioinformatics market. Bioinformatics Software are the fastest growing product segments. Demand for Bioinformatics hardware is projected to rise by 9.5% during the analysis period. Globally, bioinformatics industry is branched and fragmented. A majority of companies offer specific or specialized. Only a few companies provide complete and comprehensive solutions for their clients’ R&D needs. Major players in this field include 3rd Millennium, Inc, Accelrys, Inc., Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, BioWisdom Ltd, Celera Group, Gene Logic, IBM Life Sciences, Life Technologies Corporation, and Rosetta Inpharmatics.   Growth in the IT sector is largely dependent on its support in drug discovery. Certain bioinformatics  based companies are purchasing their technologies to become fully equipped drug discovery setups. Other bioinformatics companies are merging with drug discovery companies. Bioinformatics is considered as central to accelerating drug discovery. As a result, big  pharma and biotech firms are expected to invest heavily in internal capabilities, or meet their needs through outsourcing. As the market matures, collaboration among industries will be initiated driving even more bioinformatics demand.  ournal    Engineering,   Computers   &    Applied    Sciences   (JEC&AS   ISSN    No:   2319 ‐ 5606   Volume   2,   No.2,   February    2013    _________________________________________________________________________________   Blue   Ocean   Research    Journals   5     The growth of bioinformatics 5 years back is explained as below. This trend has been followed since then, with increased advancements.The total  bioinformatics market for analytical software was expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3%. Overall, genomics was considered to be the leading application of analytical software. DNA sequence and gene expression analysis were expected to be used prevalently in both academia and the  pharmaceutical industry. There was increased growth rate and gain in market shares for  proteomics and pharmacogenomics applications. The adoption rate of bioinformatics tools however did not increase, due to development of better tools with time. Improvisation of existing models was the main area of focus. However, the developers of novel high-throughput technologies introduced technologies;  bioinformatics developers commercialized newer software products to meet the demand. Particularly,  product developments in proteomics applications increased due to greater efforts in discovering new disease biomarkerIt is essential that the industry meets the customer needs and provide the best  possible solution in order to survive in the ever increasing competition in this field. Since the completion of human genome mapping, demands for more sophisticated and customized tools has increased. Navigant Consulting worked upon this in an in-depth study to identify the specific needs of end-users and gather their thoughts on current  products and segment specific trends. End-users were asked to identify their preferred suppliers of bioinformatics tools for various application areas. Academic users show a  preference for public bioinformatics tools. According to a research scientist at the National Cancer Institute, Cost is the most significant factor for any purchasing decisions in an academic setting and compromised decisions are always made to accommodate financial limitations. Industry users  prefer products with strong reputations that offer high levels of technical support, and that are convenient, all of which are associated with higher  price tags. One third of users are dissatisfied with their current  bioinformatics analytical tools. This group of end-users may turn into an attractive target for competing suppliers to market and grow their market share. Difficulties with data integration and associated high prices account for nearly three-quarters of total dissatisfaction. Although, more than 90% of end-users still agree that current bioinformatics tools improve  productivity while providing cost savings for their research. Researchers expect strong growth to occur in the  proteomics and pharmacogenomics segments as future research will concentrate in these fields. The revenues for these segments are expected to be directly correlated to the growth potential for the segment-specific bioinformatics market. CONCLUSION The main objective of entire bioinformatics studies is to be able to develop better therapeutic results. It includes drug development, better diagnosis,  personal medication, etc. Thus, this field demands extremely high level of accuracy and unambiguity. Work done is mostly a collaborative effort of various organizations, labs and data banks. Proper exchange of material must be ensured. This must  be done along with required security. Proper management of data, tools required, software installed as well as designed must be maintained. Person with proper knowledge of both the fields: I.T and molecular biology must be employed to  perform bioinformatics projects. Hiring of qualified  personnel is another very important task for the management. Marketing of bioinformatics products is mainly dependent on drug discover project. With development of efficient tools and drug for cure of diseases the market value increases. The main aim is to increase the life span of human being. With development of high throughput screening techniques and virtual drug design the shares of  bioinformatics industries has incremented significantly. Major IT sector companies are extending their division into drug designing, either  by outsourcing or developing their own tools. Due to development of bioinformatics there has  been a convergence of biotechnology and informatics tools thereby initiating a number of alliances. This could result in mergers between  previously distinct industries. In future, collaborations may be settled between  pharmaceutical and computing firms, combining their research as well as IT capabilities. Alliances  between pharmaceutical software and firms are expected, which have strong marketing capabilities, are highly expected. Computing and telecommunication firms are also expected to be seen in this field. The main challenge faced by  bioinformatics is to analyze and comprehend the enormous amount of genomic data and make sense out of it. The main opportunities are to be able to find out the relations between these strands of information and decipher its real purpose of existence.
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