Biomedical is the industry which deals with medical and healthcare products. Biotechnology is an essential part of the biomedical industry and emphasizes molecular biology, genomics, and new drug development.
Many different industries comprise biomedical, and it can be confusing to understand them all. To avoid confusion, we’ve created this blog post to cover some of the most common ones! You’ll learn about Cell & Gene Therapy, Biopharmaceuticals, Diagnostics & Scientific Instruments Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing & Development Services, among others! Learn more about what these industries do below!
Biotechnology encompasses research in the broadest sense—from human genetics to environmental protection. It includes the development of new diagnostic tools, treatments, and therapies that enhance health. Biotechnology derives its name from the word biology; the prefix bio- implies life.
Biotechnology can also be referred to simply as bioengineering or bio-engineering. It is the branch of technology that applies biological science for industrial use. Not only does it develop new products, but biotechnology is also used in agriculture, food science, and medical technology to develop novel products with better efficiency and enhanced safety profiles. It is a means to gain novel products from living organisms or their components for human benefit and medical use. Ecological benefits are sometimes described as biomimetics from this perspective.
Biotechnology also makes another significant contribution to the economy by providing employment opportunities. The industry is global and provides opportunities around the world. The European Commission predicts that biotechnology will create three million jobs in Europe during the next decade and generate as much as $500 billion annually in Europe alone. The potential of biotechnology to create new industries and sources of employment is enormous. The Global Market Insights predicts that the biotechnology industry will grow from $497 billion in 2020 to €950 billion by 2027.
Biopharmaceuticals are a type of drug which is manufactured using biotechnology. They are drugs made from biological sources, generally living cells. It includes vaccines, blood proteins, gene therapy, and monoclonal antibodies. These drugs have various uses, including cancer treatment and prevention, autoimmune disorders, and diabetes management. The industry is heavily regulated and governed by authorities such as the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
Diagnostics & Scientific Instruments Manufacturing is an industry that creates medical devices used to detect or measure biological or chemical conditions that correspond with the disease, medical disorders, or fetus development. These tests are designed to aid in detecting and monitoring disease, assessing risk and genetic traits, and identifying pathogenic substances present in blood or urine. These scientific instruments are used by healthcare professionals in various fields, including pathology, cardiology, microbiology, etc. Some examples include electronic stethoscopes and thermometers!
Cell & Gene Therapy is a branch of biotechnology concerned with using cells as a therapeutic agent for treating diseases. They can be derived from living organisms (e.g., stem cells, which can represent the progenitor cells of many body parts), from nonliving tissues (e.g., embryonic stem cells), and genetically engineered laboratory-grown cell lines (e.g., genetically manipulated mouse blood cells).
New drug development is an integral part of the biomedical industry and has been recognized in the “California Biotechnology Strategy.” However, it is a subject that few people know much about, and most people do not think about too often. Lately, medical and health care professionals have recognized that there may be a need to minimize the time it takes to complete new drug development or research for new drug development and patenting. This is because new drug development and research may take a long time, which can be expensive.
There are three types of new drug development:
“Pipeline drugs” are drugs in the early stage of clinical development. Therefore, they are often very early in clinical trials and can be very risky to test with humans.
“Biologics” are already marketed pharmaceutical products; they must undergo regulatory approval to become a new drug and be marketed in the United States (though not elsewhere.)
“Regenerative medicine,” which is currently in a very early stage, will involve methods of engineering cells for medical purposes.
Pharmaceutical manufacturing is a critical component of the pharmaceutical industry and involves the process of producing pharmaceutical products. Many people associate manufacturing with assembly lines of workers performing repetitive tasks, but this is a misconception. Manufacturers today have state-of-the-art equipment and utilize complicated robotics to perform various tasks. In addition, they have highly trained staff that use proprietary software programs to track all aspects of production from the beginning stages of research and development to finished products on store shelves. Once a drug has been sold to a pharmaceutical company, it must be produced in large quantities within concrete time frames. If production is not perfect, this could risk the lives of thousands of patients. As a result, pharmaceutical manufacturing is often the most profitable part of a pharmaceutical company.
Biotechnology companies employ skilled professionals, including scientists, engineers, technicians, and other scientists. Management positions such as project manager, chief executive officer, and chief financial officer are also common. Many positions require a bachelor’s degree in a relevant area such as biology, engineering, or business management. Some positions require a master’s degree or Ph.D. in the same field or a related field such as engineering or biochemistry. In addition to education requirements, experience is essential for many positions within the industry.
Biotechnology, as of today in 2021, employs more than 1.1 million people. The industry also relies on agricultural practices that environmentalists often criticize for using pesticides and genetically modified crops that can be harmful to other living organisms. Biotechnology also has the potential to create jobs in developing nations. There are many opportunities for farmers to employ biotechnology techniques to improve crop yield and quality while reducing production costs.
Some countries have adopted anti-biotechnology policies to draw attention away from ethical problems with genetic engineering research or products or commercial interests elsewhere. These policies often attempt to restrict exports of biotechnology-derived products, including foods and medicines. They have also been used to encourage the development of domestic biotechnology industries by making it more difficult to obtain foreign biotechnology products. In countries such as India, many of the policies have been motivated by anti-American sentiments. In addition, some initiatives have been targeted at individual biotechnology companies or genetically modified organisms under particular scrutiny.