While genomics may be inching toward the clinic, from a business perspective, the research end-market remains the prime target for most entrepreneurs in the space, writes Art Wuster at his Sequenomics blog.
Wuster looked at 72 firms listed on the technology company database Crunchbase, all of which received at least some third-party funding, and found that 38 were companies with customers in research laboratories or in other genomic firms.
"I'm not an economist, but this is hardly what I would have expected from a mature and self-sustaining industry," he says. "Selling mainly to researchers should probably not be the long-term goal of the genomics industry as a whole."
He also found 14 companies that he identified as diagnostics firms, a category that would have been bigger if cancer genomics hadn't been separated as its own category.
"The implication is that most people think that the best way to make money in genomics, other than selling to researchers is to develop diagnostics," Wuster says, although he acknowledges that he does not have any sales data to support that hypothesis.