Bioinformatics to grow beyond healthcare, create more opportunities in agriculture & food

New Lux Research report shows how bioinformatics is accelerating innovation and the creation of novel approaches across industries


New Delhi/Boston: The largest use of bioinformatics is currently in pharmaceutical discovery, but new and far-reaching opportunities including risk assessment, safety, personalization, diagnostics, and traceability are making bioinformatics impactful across multiple industries, including food and agriculture. In the new report “Applications and Impacts of Bioinformatics Across the Agrifood and Health Ecosystem,” Lux Research says bioinformatics applications will gain industry momentum as the line between agriculture production, food, and health continues to blur.

“Bioinformatics can be described as the digital toolbox of omics profiling technologies used to leverage biological data for a variety of useful applications. With rising innovation interest, we can expect to see multiple new applications of bioinformatics across many industries, including food and agriculture,” says Lux Research Senior Analyst and lead author of the report Joshua Haslun, Ph.D.

“Many people see food, health, and agriculture as distinct industries, but fail to see their inherent interconnectedness when it comes to technology, markets, and consumer demand,” Haslun explains. “Digital technologies including bioinformatics are playing key roles in helping companies be more agile and certain about their innovation efforts.” Demand across agriculture for effective alternatives to synthetic crop protection and nutrition inputs, as well as improved crops, is growing, and bioinformatics plays a key role in their development. Commercializing synthetic biology and the microbiome requires bioinformatics, especially toward the development of novel, bio-based solutions targeting improved quality and environmental resilience.

While pharmaceutical discovery remains the most widely used application of the toolbox, bioinformatics also plays a critical role in risk assessment and safety. This is especially true for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, where bioinformatics can predict adverse and off-target drug effects. “Healthcare stakeholders are starting to use bioinformatics for personalized medicine applications that generate actionable results, such as in pharmacogenomics and personalized oncology treatments” says Lux Research Analyst, Cole McCollum. “The healthcare industry is increasingly leveraging bioinformatics to drive innovation in personalized and preventative care,” explains McCollum.

“As bioinformatics grows into more industries, it’s important to note that expert analysis and interpretation will be necessary to truly understand the data and develop solutions from it,” says McCollum. “This will remain the case for all bioinformatics applications, except for the simplest applications, such as pathogen strain analysis.” Lux Research recommends companies form partnerships with research institutes that can provide expanded bioinformatics resources and expertise.