We recently met with the divisional management of one of Instem’s businesses – Informatics. Despite its relatively small scale, the unit has an interesting platform, is experiencing significant growth, and some of its services offer both material cost savings and process improvements to major players in the pharma market. It therefore offers Instem a greater degree of value than might be apparent simply by looking at its current scale – today’s RNS highlights informatics order intake up c60% YoY to £0.84m during the first nine months of 2019. This note summarises the mediumterm potential of the unit, both in its own right, and to Instem as a whole.
Informatics in this context relates to analysis of available information to assess the effects that may result from a given drug intervention, or an attempt to alter a given gene function. Instem’s Informatics business is the focal area for the group’s growing in-silico (i.e. computational) drug R&D offerings. In the complex, risky and expensive world of drug development, decisions need to be powered by the best quality intelligence. Instem’s data collection seeks to provide high quality data to clients – helping optimise their in-vitro (tests on isolated tissues and cells) and in-vivo (tests in animals and humans), which are essential to progress a new drug through the heavily regulated R&D process.
Instem acquired BioWisdom in 2011 and has been steadily evolving the service suite and the software platform, which now provides a broad range of customers with market-leading solutions in the informatics area. The majority of revenues relate to the delivery of a gene- or drug target specific “Target Safety Assessment”, which, in a similar way to Instem’s SEND offering, is essentially a technology-enabled outsourced services offering.
The division is seeing good levels of commercial traction, winning the majority of all business quoted for. Total order numbers were up 90% YoY for the first nine months of 2019. The unit is evolving towards a potential mix of services (delivery of safety assessment reviews). There are many applications of insilico R&D approaches, with almost limitless opportunities to grow this area of Instem both organically and acquisitively.
Informatics brings Instem into contact with customers at an early stage in the drug development process, which is useful in terms of client relationships and the “presence” of the group within the pharma and CRO markets.