What is Genomics?
Genomics is a subsection of the biotechnology industry which focuses on genomes’ structure, function, evolution and edits. A genome is simply a complete set of any organism’s DNA, including all of its genes. Different areas of genomics include genome sequencing, the process of determining the order of nucleotides in a genome, gene expression analysis, the study of how genes are turned on and off, proteomics, the study of genetic proteins, and metabolomics, the study of chemical activity in a cell/tissue (the ‘metabolites’).
A Short Video Explaining Genomics.
This array of areas can be applied in numerous ways. Looking at the subsector, genomics can aid in drug discovery, disease diagnosis, personalised medicine and agriculture biotechnology. Acquirers of a genomics research company would have the opportunity to improve their drug discovery processes, enhance their disease diagnosis of patients, develop personalised medicines for their patients, or increase their agricultural productivity.
Global Genomics Industry
According to Grand View Research, the global genomics market was valued at USD 28.09 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.5% from 2023 to 2030, reaching an expected value of USD 376.78 billion[i]. Clearly, a rapidly growing industry.
The North American region served as the most dominant worldwide, accounting for 45% of global market share in 2022 and, according to Market Data Forecast, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) segment had the largest market share in 2022[ii]. The PCR technique is very powerful, and can be used in many ways, including DNA sequencing, forensic analysis, disease diagnosis and paternity testing. You may have heard of this technique before, as it has been previously utilised to detect Covid-19 in a possible carrier.
Drivers of demand within the genomics industry can be attributed to several factors. Some of these factors include:
- The decreasing costs of genomic sequencing, due to advances in sequencing technologies and the ever-increasing availability of data.
- The rise in demand for personalised medicines, which hold the potential to completely revolutionise the way scientists treat diseases.
- The increasing use of genomics in agriculture as genomics research can be used to develop a higher yield of more resilient crops, providing the potential to improve food security.
Below, we can see from Grand View Research a chart projecting the genomics’ market value and the growth by technology and application:
Genomics Market Value 2020 – 2030 Source: Grand View Research [i]
Global Genomics Companies
The largest global genomics company is Illumina, with an approximate market cap of USD 30 billion. The company provides solutions for genomic sequencing and array-based solutions, with products/services including sequencing instruments, sequencing reagents, array-based products and software for analysing sequencing data, identifying genetic variants and tracking gene expression levels. In 2022, Illumina generated revenues of USD 4.5 billion, with USD 3.6 billion of this stemming from their sequencing products[iii].
Next comes 10x Genomics, with just a quarter of Illumina’s market capitalisation, at around USD 7 billion[iv]. This company offers single-cell RNA sequencing, spatial transcriptomics, used to study the spatial organisation of genes and proteins in cell tissues, immune profiling, used to track gene expression changes in immune cells, and software for single-cell analysis. 10x Genomic’s revenue came to just under USD 1 billion in FY22, with just under USD 900 million received for their single-cell genomics solution offerings.
Thirdly, with a market capitalisation of USD 5.6 billion, Ionis Pharmaceuticals is a biotech company focusing on the discovery & development of RNA-target therapies. Ionis’ product portfolio consists of numerous disease treatment products for the likes of spinal muscular atrophy, HIV, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and many cardiovascular diseases. The company is positioned for very rapid growth with these products in their pipeline.
UK Genomics Industry
While the UK only contributes 10% to the global genomics market, the nation is set to outpace the entire worldwide market at a CAGR of 20%[v]. Since 2017, one report publishes that 121 UK genomics companies, mostly made up of 1-10 employees, have received around GBP 1.9 billion in venture investment and GBP 35.7 million in public grants. It was also reported that between 2017 and 2021, British genomics firms, while only making up 9.8% of the life sciences sector, were able to attract 23.4% of the total equity investment in the sector[vi]. Clearly from this data, we should note the amazing potential for sector growth.
The UK has even further support to drive growth from Life Sciences Vision, with their plan to inject GBP 1 billion of funding into the UK’s most promising life sciences companies[vii].
For the UK genomics industry to thrive, Deloitte[viii] has identified a few hurdles which must be overcome, namely:
Due to how niche the sector is, many research professionals are not fully versed in the specifics of bioinformatics and genomics, restricting potential growth.
Scale up challenges
Accelerating application and reducing barriers to NHS adoption
The UK must continue to strengthen the relationship between academic research and clinical application within the National Health Service.
UK Genomics Companies
At JCinus Partners, we have analysed and identified four potential target companies engaging in genomics research. These companies’ products/services can provide solutions to many areas of biotechnology, including life sciences, artificial intelligence, genetics, healthcare, bioinformatics and clinical trials.
A seed Company putting heaving focus on developing a blood test for early-stage cancer detection and minimal residual disease. This is an epigenetics Company, meaning they study how different behaviours and environments can affect the way a person’s genes work. This Company, despite only being founded in 2019, has raised a total funding amount of GBP 9 million across just one funding round.
This series B Company offers their clients, typically top tier pharma researchers, an intelligent genomics platform that can understand DNA data and produce useful insights based upon this data. Their system can automate the DNA data analysis process, learn from this data through the use of artificial intelligence and later provide actionable judgements. This Company, founded in 2017, has already raised GBP 70 million worth of funding across five funding rounds and eight investors. A highly promising business for the overall biotechnology industry.
As a provider of services relating to bioinformatics data analysis, the series D Company strives to help their clients make extensive research breakthroughs in disciplines such as clinical development, biomarker discovery and drug repositioning. The Company is a spinout from the University of Edinburgh and provides bioinformatic solutions to top tier pharma and biotech companies. After the spinout in 2008, the Company has gone on to receive GBP 1.9 million in funding from three investors over four rounds.
As another spinout from the University of Edinburgh, this Company was formed to commercialise a revolutionary chemical-based system for detecting nucleic acids and single nucleotide polymorphisms. This system differs from all others as it is completely ‘PCR-free’ for nucleic acid analysis. Proceeding the 2010 formation, the Company has received a grant from the Technological Fund of Invest in Spain worth approximately EUR 239,000, alongside a total funding amount of EUR 1.2 million from three investors.
- [i] https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/genomics-market
- [ii] https://www.marketdataforecast.com/market-reports/global-genomics-market
- [iii] https://investor.illumina.com/news/press-release-details/2023/Illumina-Reports-Financial-Results-for-Fourth-Quarter-and-Fiscal-Year-2022/default.aspx
- [iv] https://s28.q4cdn.com/592666581/files/doc_financials/2022/q4/2ffc93da-baf2-4fb2-a9d4-9d210c5f1077.pdf
- [v] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/464088/BIS-15-543-genomics-in-the-UK.pdf
- [vi] https://www.bioindustry.org/policy/strategic-technologies/genomics/genomics-nation-2022.html
- [vii] https://www.genomicsengland.co.uk/genomic-medicine/genomics-in-uk
- [viii] https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/pages/life-sciences-and-healthcare/articles/genomics-in-the-uk.html
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