A recent report from research and consulting firm Silico Research indicates that the market for data analysis software in biopharmaceutical research is surprisingly small.
The study, Data Analytics in Biopharmaceutical Research, estimated the total number of end users in the private sector for data analysis applications to be 63,000 in 2000, with a total market size of $17.4 million, excluding data, hardware, and services.
While the market is expected to grow by 17 percent to $20.45 million and 72,000 users by 2008, the total size remains hampered by the fact that data analysis applications are sold “desktop by desktop,” said Emmett Power, CEO of Silico Research and lead analyst on the research.
This approach is vastly different from a “big iron” bioinformatic infrastructure that could be used by tens of thousands of users in an organization.
“The small biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies don’t need huge data mining applications because they don’t have the data. The big companies do, and there aren’t very many of those and they have their own in-house bioinformaticians and data mining experts anyway,” Power said.
The market is currently dominated by vendors who offer software for clinical trials analysis. Silico Research estimated that SAS, SPSS, and SGI together have a 57 percent market share. Clinical trials currently comprise 64 percent of the data mining market.
But growth is expected to slow at this end of the pipeline as the increase in genomic and proteomic data and the need to integrate data from clinical trials into drug discovery and development drive the demand for early-stage discovery applications. Bioinformatics and cheminformatics vendors, such as Spotfire and Tripos, should see growth in market share as this trend plays out. Silico Research estimated that each of these companies currently holds seven percent of the total analytical application market.
The fastest growing user base for data analysis software in industry will be biological scientists, the study determined, with an increase of nearly 3 percent a year projected to bring the total number to 21,700 in 2008. This growth is expected to be linked to an increase in scientific employment in India and China.
Silico Research also expects the major database vendors, Oracle, IBM, and Microsoft, to gain a significant presence in the market over the next five years as they increasingly bundle analytical software with database, data warehouse, and data integration products.
Among other conclusions, the study recommends that smaller vendors looking for success in the data analysis market should seek partnerships with data and consultancy services or other large companies in the sector.