Computational biology can be defined as the application of mathematical modeling, theoretical methods and computer aided simulation for the study of behavioral, social and biological systems. It is an interdisciplinary field which includes the principles of applied mathematics, computer science, statistics, animation, biophysics, biochemistry, genomics, genetics, anatomy, ecology, neuroscience, and visualization. This includes the use of biological data to construct relationship models and algorithms among different biological systems to analyze differences and similarities. The various segments of the industry include computational bio-modeling, computational genomics, computational neuroscience, computational pharmacology, evolutionary biology and cancer research. Computational bio-modeling comprises of computer-aided biological system models which aim to design algorithms which would accurately visualize simulations to examine the complexities of such systems in virtual space. Computational genetics is a subfield of computational biology which is used to sequence genomes of cells for the purpose of understanding internal biological mechanisms and understand homology.
One major example of this use is The Human Genome project which has successfully sequenced the entire human genome. Computational neuroscience is the application of computational biology to map complex nervous pathways, visualize and analyze three-dimensional models of the brain. Computational pharmacology is the use of computer aided visualizations to simulate advanced drug interactions to optimize drug action. Evolutionary biology is the subfield in which DNA sequences are evaluated for transformations in species characteristics over time. The major driver for the growth of computational biology usage and application is expected to be the increase in bioinformatics research and development programs aimed to sequence genomes for understanding biological systems. The drug development programs which require three-dimensional drug design methodology also are a lucrative application of computational biology as it reduces the average cost of developing a new drug. Owing to these reasons the global demand for computational biology usage and application is expected to grow at a steady growth rate throughout the forecast period.
Key application segments include disease modeling, cellular modeling, molecular simulation and drug development. With the growth of investments in novel drug development and the failure of a number of clinical trials in the second phase of development, the market for drug design and development using computational biology dominated the market in terms of revenue in 2013 and is expected to grow at a steady growth rate throughout the forecast period.
This industry also comprises of tools which are used during the application of computational biology or are formed by the algorithms generated through computations of biological data such as databases containing genomic and proteomic data, hardware processor units for computational biology and software/services used in computational analyzes. These act as a compliment to the applications of computational biology and witness a similar market demand.
The market for computational biology is also segmented on the basis of services provided into in-house and on contract by institutions which have resources to conduct researches requiring high processing and computing technologies. These are mainly offered by contract research organizations that carry out computational research for academic bodies, research institutes, and pharmaceutical firms.
Key end-user segments analyzed in this study include academics, industries, and commercial uses. The largest application of computational biology is found to be in academics, research, and development. Computational biology finds application in various ongoing R&D projects for disease modeling, drug discovery and anatomical visualizations in North American and European academic institutions such as regulation of metabolic networks by EMBL, computational systems biology of cancer by Institute Curie of France and R&D in computational biology by Harvard Medical School.
The major geographies analyzed in the study are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and RoW. North America dominated the market for application of computational biology in 2013 and is expected to lead the market throughout the forecast period. North America leads the market in terms of investments in the research and development of novel drugs and disease modeling and technological advancements in biological computations. The second largest market share is occupied by Europe owing to the pioneering innovations such as regulations and modeling of metabolic networks being researched upon by European Molecular Biology Laboratory. The Asia Pacific market is expected to witness steady growth in the applications for computational biology due to the growing expenditure in research works in pharmacogenomics and pharmacokinetics in clinical studies for newer drugs.
The key providers for computational biology applications and services are Chemical Computing Group Inc., Accelrys, Certara, Compugen Ltd., Entelos, Insilico Biotechnology AG, Genedata AG, Leadscope Inc., Simulation Plus Inc., Schrodinger, Rhenovia Pharma SAS, and Nimbus Discovery LLC.
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