Instem PLC (LON:INS) said it is seeing strong demand for its informatics services with the value of new orders growing by 58% to £840,000.

While the division’s contribution is relatively minor at the moment, it is the pace of expansion that has excited chief executive Phil Reason and the team.

WATCH: Instem PLC reports strong demand for its informatics services

Total order numbers are up by 90% during the first nine months with new business coming from 10 unique clients, compared with six a year earlier.

“We are very excited by the potential here and see this as an increasingly important part of our offering,” said CEO Reason.

Instem specialises in software that streamlines and standardises the regulatory submissions process for early-stage drug development.

Informatics is a natural extension for the company. By processing and storing data it has garnered, the company has been able to develop gene- or drug-specific target safety assessments (TSAs).

TSAs are used to assess unintended adverse consequences of potential treatments before expensive investment is made and, crucially, long before they are administered to people.

Currently, this process is costly, particularly for small and mid-sized firms, which have to outsource it.

Instem’s ‘in silico’ (computer-based) methodology is cheaper than the traditional, lab-based approach and brings with it an element of standardisation lacking currently from the current process.

In the update, the AIM-listed software group said the expansion into informatics was bringing it into contact with customers at an early stage in the drug development process.

“There is growing demand for TSA services, which determine the viability of developing drugs at an early stage, thereby ensuring that companies are able to make decisions early in the development curve and avoid unnecessary spend,” investors were told.