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As In Silico Biology Gets Set to Take Off, Market May Impose Barriers

NEW YORK, Nov. 5 - In silico biology is headed for powerful growth in the next five years, but market quirks will likely retard the expansion, a recent report shows.


This market, now worth a mere $27 million, will be worth $205 million by 2007, the according to Front Line Strategic Consulting.


In Front Line's definition, "in silico" biology is research that integrates data from genomics, proteomics and expression experiments to identify drug targets, create pathway and network models, and choose lead compounds.


But there will be major delays before these techniques reach their full potential, Front Line reports. Why the wait? By this analysis, "the poor economic climate, skepticism of the technological value and reduced expenditures on unproven technologies by drug developers" will keep in silico biology in check.


Growth in the near future will be relatively slow as companies struggle against these economic and scientific barriers. New companies will probably enter the market, and the sector as a whole will begin to produce simple pathway models for absorption, metabolism, and elimination of compounds.


Within the next few years, as technologies becomes more robust and the economy warms up, products that analyze cellular pathways and model networks, whole cells, and organ systems will begin growing at a more rapid pace.


By then, in silico biology will also become useful in agriculture, bioprocess engineering, and environmental bioremediation, the report predicts.


Excerpts of the Front Line report can be found on the company's website.

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