The Emerging Trends of Biotechnology in 2021 and Onwards

The biotech industry is rapidly evolving, with experts predicting this industry’s worth to skyrocket in the next four years, raking more than $775 billion in value. Owing to the current pandemic, one would assume it to be the main driving factor of biotech’s popularity or importance. However, this isn’t the only reason. The increase in financial support within the past few years following promising tests of new and effective medical treatments of a variety of illnesses has also placed biotechnology as an integral life sciences industry.

Biotechnology’s successful progression towards R&D has given birth to three main biotech trends that would dominate the industry of today and tomorrow.

Biotech Trends of 2021

Many factors have influenced the trends in healthcare and medicine today. The main 5 factors influencing the progress of biotechnology following 2021, are the following:

1. Cell and Gene Therapies

Personalized medicine is gradually becoming a reality for the healthcare industry. Gene therapies that include manipulating human cells and genomes to create customized drugs exclusively for patients are among the prosperous biotechnology areas.

Safe to say that a large portion of the industry is dedicated to personalized medicine.

Going into factual details regarding gene therapy; In 2017, FDA approved the first-ever gene therapy drug called Kymriah. This particular drug uses the patient’s white blood cells to treat and fight acute lymphatic leukemia. In the same year, another medicine called Yescarta was approved.

These previous successes within personalized medicine are the very progress that has given way to further drug development. Despite the many challenges concerning mass-scale production, FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb expects the agency to grant 10-20 gene and cell therapy approvals every year, all the way up to 2025, as biotech continues to move fastly towards new developments.

2. Vaccine Development

We all know how biotechnology has played an integral role in fighting against the novel virus and has successfully developed vaccines with 46.2 million shots already administered. The government, biotechnology companies, and the scientific community are doing their best in forging mutually beneficial partnerships to fund research and development areas so that our understanding of vaccines can be refined along with the processes of developing one from scratch.

Referring to customized drug production, a traditional vaccine that is on the market is usually based on a similar process and science – ‘one for all.’ However, as we know, this isn’t how diseases can be approached with a solution – Covid-19 is an excellent example to iterate the importance of customized vaccines.

3. Increased Stake Holder Collaboration

With technology being the core and most integral component of biotech, the integration of more advanced computing technology is paving the way for more convenient operations. Take cloud computing, for example. The said technology has enabled stakeholder collaboration through tools that include data sharing, virtual meetings, and various team collaborations regardless of their location. This very tool brought academic institutions, government research organizations, biotech firms, and any other relevant companies on board over the same platform, conveniently working towards a similar goal.

Considering how important it is to isolate specific research to a handful of people from the scientific community of the same country or institute and allow brains to join from all over the world, cloud computing is the winning technology.

The challenge, however, can expand to the protection of intellectual property over these cloud computing solutions. There is a need for easy remote collaborations over projects that take years to receive regulatory approvals and achieve any investment return. If the years’ worth of research isn’t secured over the network, how will they ever financially benefit from the products they create? This is why it has become necessary that impeccable cloud computing technology and network security go hand in hand for the biotech industry to benefit.

4. Higher Agricultural Yield Demand

With the growing population to almost a 9.7billion in 2050, the concern of adequate food production is also increasing. Naturally, the agricultural yields are proving to be insufficient to provide for the growing population. Biotechnology is also tackling this area and is trying to increase production through genetically modified crops that can grow in unfavorable conditions and provide more nutritional value.

Not only the yield production is increased, but also through gene editing, newer and improved varieties of crops such as wheat and corn can be produced that have shown to survive in harsher conditions. Additionally, they can also protect themselves from harmful chemicals or any environmental damage.

5. The Evolution of Clinical Trials

The clinical trials of the past have been an arduous task; from a manual selection of participants to recording everything that starts from their treatment, symptoms, and even side effects was carried out on paper, only.  Not to mention, gathering a sample from a diverse range of participants was another hassle that the drug makers would have to go through.

Fast forward to 2021; the process has been automated to a large extent thanks to digitization that is enabling biotech companies to shorten the selection and trial times. With wearable technology, medical data collection has also become a breeze, and the transfer of this data even faster than before. This fast data gathering and transfer facility have given the researchers the time to single out the ones that do not satisfy the criteria and move on to the more critical aspects of the research.

When speaking about the technologies assisting and speeding the R&D process, we can mention Machine Learning, AI, and Blockchain – as they are proving to be one of the driving forces in driving evolutionary changes within several big and small industries including biotechnology.

Biotech Trends Moving Forward

The biotechnology industry has come a long way over the years and has been accelerating ever since within the areas of research, tech improvements, and breakthrough scientific discoveries. The fast-paced progress has led to the creation of various biotech consulting firms that comprise of industry experts and experienced personnel providing the necessary guidance to the firms that need it, young and established alike.

We can expect many great and successful drug and treatment development in the coming years with COVID vaccines to be one of the many feathers in the cap.

 

 

 

What Is Biotech Consulting & How It Benefits the Life Sciences Industry?

 

Biotechnology or biotech concerns itself with the area of biology that uses living organisms, processes, or systems to manufacture products or technology intended to improve the quality of  human lives. Considering the unfortunate times of COVID, biotechnology proves to be the saving grace. It is churning out vaccines that would prevent COVID infection by up to 98%.

With Pfizer vaccines almost ready to start their mass-immunization project, biotechnology has become one of the most valuable commodities, with great statistics to show for it. According to the numbers, the biotech industry’s revenue was about $108.2 billion in 2020, with its global market size to reach around $727.1 billion by the year 2025. With the rise of biotechnology and many other fields of life sciences, the job market also started to flourish, with as many as 273,280 people employed in the Biotech industry in the U.S. alone this year.

Safe to say that biotechnology is becoming the most critical economic driver, one that is propelling humanity, living organisms, and the planet as a whole in the right direction. With the market growing exponentially, there are more and more opportunities becoming available for the workforce. Still, there is a lack of experts that can guide the workforce and the companies in the right direction.

This is why biotech consulting firms and companies comprise knowledgeable and experienced individuals that assist the biotech firms in making informed and best decisions. Their primary focus is on product quality and efficiency, regulatory, compliance, and value for money.

What is Biotech Consulting?

Biotech consulting or biotechnology consulting is the process of assisting businesses and organizations involved in the research and commercialization of biotechnology and every product developed. Biotech consulting is dedicated to improving the methods and efficiency of production, along with the optimization of approaches to R&D.

These consultants are responsible for providing advice, solution-oriented actions, and effective diagnosis to any issues or concerns they may have – ultimately optimizing the integral parts of the R&D pharmaceutical companies, as stated above.

With that being defined, the biotech firms are under immense pressure to develop and produce products that resolve the issues being faced today, and that too, on a limited time scale. The demand to production ratio is quite imbalanced, and the R&D pharma struggles to meet the growing market. Take world hunger, the pandemic, deadly diseases, and climate change as some of the significant issues biotechnology is tackling.

However, today with AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning), Data Science, and Blockchain, many redundant processes concerning research have been automated. This has enabled saving millions of dollars that once were spent on traditional paper-based researches.

Moreover, such technology has revolutionized the entire industry. More on that later.

What Do Biotech Consultants Do?

We discussed biotech consulting in bits and pieces, how it assists, and under what capacity. If we were to examine the biotech consultants’ role alone, it would highlight their value within the biotechnology industry.

Every consultant adds their knowledge, hands-on experience, and insights to assist the organizations concerned with biotechnology at a high level. They provide their best opinions/suggestions on the potential actions that should prove to be the organization’s best course.

Let’s take an example. The pharmaceutical companies launch new drugs every year. However, with complicated federal and international regulations, the companies find it a hassle to find the right internal resources. The kind that would ensure that the products under development, along with their advertising, meets the full regulatory compliance. Moreover, the consultants are also skilled at determining the value for money along with the literal effectiveness it is adding for the consumers.

These are important aspects of any biotech or pharma company that require expert individuals’ keen eye and experience to handle them with care. Their need transcends the generic tasks. They can provide analysis over a diverse area concerning the product in question that includes the drug’s design, its evaluation of the advertising and marketing materials, the tests and other protocols surrounding the drug, and eventual deployment.

Biotech consulting and the consultants are not just involved in drug launches and biotech/pharmaceutical companies. Biotch consulting is connected to the following areas of concern:

  • Researching legal frameworks and regulations.
  • Providing expert analysis of large datasets that are common in the biosciences industry.
  • Assisting organizations in solving unique problems and issues related to biotechnology.
  • Coordinating and communicating between the executives and organizational teams.
  • Translating complex industry terms and concepts in layman terms to the stakeholders.

Hopefully, this must-have given you the insight you require to understand the integral role biotech consulting firms play within the realm of biotechnology.

So, what are the advantages an organization receives after hiring a biotech consulting firm?

Advantages of Biotech Consultancy Firms

If we could narrow down the benefits of biotech consulting and consultants, it would be the following:

  • Biotechnology consulting improves decision making within the organization.
  • It keeps the company on track with compliance costs and its optimization.
  • Consultants help reduce operational costs.
  • Ensuring that the product provides maximum benefit to the consumers.
  • It also increases the rapid development as well as allowing these med-tech firms to allocate their resources adequately.

With that being said, if you are now fully aware of your need to hire a biotech consultancy firm for your organization, then contact Nieuw Amsterdam Advisors todayAt Nieuw Amsterdam Advisors, along with William Patrick Slattery, we house experts with years of experience behind them, making them, their knowledge, skills, and expertise to be your best bet.

 

The Benefits and Dangerous Risks of Biotechnology – An Overview

Biotechnology has proven to be existing long before the dawn of technology, in various capacities. It is only when COVID struck, that the common man’s attention shifted to this field. One could assume biotechnology to be fairly recent, much like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Data Science. However, this science is ancient. Without knowing or having any understanding of the principles and processes included, it was successfully being carried out thousands of years ago; take the production of bread, wine, cheese, and even selective breeding of animals as a reference to the past. And like anything that man experiments with, biotechnology comes with its benefits and risks.

Of course, fast forward to current times, the technology has since long been refined and updated with many successful applications and results to witness in our daily lives. However, biotechnology has its set of risks included that do prove to be worrisome.

First, let’s shed some light on the history of biotechnology and the various ways it was being applied without any knowledge of the definite science behind the results.

Brief History of Biotechnology

A Hungarian agricultural engineer, Karl Ereky, coined the term ‘Biotechnology’ in 1919. Before that period, the field itself was nameless.

Although the term denotes the cohesiveness of technology and biology alone, the discipline has many facets perfectly placed by humans for the betterment of mankind. From plant cultivation, cheese production, to animal husbandry, the applications have been under practice for many years dating as back as some 5000 years.

Some of the areas where biotechnology processes were applied in the past includes:

  • Bread Making – 3,000 BC
  • Beer making – 3,000 BC
  • Alcoholic Beverages – Prehistoric
  • Elaboration of Vinegar – 14th Century
  • Yeast Cell Description by Leeuwenhoek – 1689
  • Fermentation Properties of Yeast Discovery by Erxleben – 1818

There are traditional applications of biotechnology as well that we also observed existing in the bygone days. An example to perfectly explain this is composting; which means increasing the fertility of the soil through the decomposition of organic matter. Today, with the dire need for carbon footprint reduction, reduction of landfill waste, limiting chemical fertilizers, and much more, organic composting has become one of the top priorities in order for this earth to heal and recover.

Consider the above applications to be the benefits among the benefits and risks we are to discuss. Now that you are aware of the past applications of biotechnology, let’s discuss the modern-day advances that show the progression of biotechnology over the years until today.

Modern Day Biotechnology

Modern Biotech
Via GRID-Arendal

With the advances in genetics and molecular biology in recent years, the field of biotech has advanced to the acknowledgment of ‘Modern Science’. This has also increased searches for ‘what is biotechnology?’ in recent years as many people have started to take an interest.

More so, the year of COVID has truly shined the importance and necessity of biotech in the world. Considering how the biotech companies are stepping forward in their bid to respond to COVID with vaccines and anti-viral medication. As they have in the past for Influenza, Zika Virus, and the likes.

Modern biotechnology, on the other hand, doesn’t deny its past but has refined and evolved through integration with its modern techniques. Hence, today we witness a wide range of products geared towards the improvement of human lives. Just to start with, we have remarkable advancements in genetic engineering techniques. The mindboggling ability to manipulate basic gene information for controlled and favorable outcomes has opened pathways to an exponential increase in the number of technology companies dealing in Recombinant DNA.

Furthermore, biotechnology is not limited to recombinant DNA techniques. But its applications encompass many fields and organizations that have been since altered with these techniques in order to obtain products that are high in value.

If we were to list down the fields of biotechnology, then they include:

  • Recombinant DNA
  • Biotechnological Process Engineering
  • Biocatalysts
  • Fermentations
  • Cultivation of Plant Tissues
  • Bioremediation; the treatment and reuse of waste products
  • Culture of Mammalian Cells

As for the current tools of biotechnology; they are as follows:

  • DNA Sequencing
  • Recombinant DNA
  • DNA Synthesis
  • Genome Editing

So, keeping all the above-given information in perspective, it may look like biotechnology truly is the modern-day solution to many of the biological errors and threats to living organisms. There are a few risks involved, no matter how promising biotechnology is.

Risks of Biotechnology

Along with the progression of biotechnology, the research also proves to highlight and raise questions on the looming consequences and risks that come alongside biotech’s advances. Evidently, since biotech concerned with the genetic and cellular makeup of the living organism – the risks are vast and dangerous – as compared to other scientific fields.

In biotechnology, you are dealing with microbes that are tiny and which is why difficult to detect. Similarly, the engineered cells could multiply and divide on their own spreading like wildfire. This could potentially wreak havoc with far-reaching consequences that would become hard to contain.

There are two risks in biotechnology, as of now; one is the unintended or unexplored consequences that may arise and the second is weaponizing biology to cause major harm.

Unanticipated Consequences

To understand the consequences associated with biotechnology, there is much in the past to look into and learn from. For example, scientists made interesting observations when they dug into the clues in the DNA Of HIV immune people. It appeared to them that the individuals immune to such virus mutated the protein that is the landing pad for HIV.

Since these patients were healthy without the absence of such protein, the researchers entertained certain ideas. The one that stood out the most was deleting this gene entirely in the cells of the infected or at-risk patients, as a means of having this as the permanent solution to HIV and AIDS.

With the new tool, ‘DNA scissors’ called CRISPR/Cas9, the possibility of cutting unwanted gene or gene surgery became a reality. Also called ‘Editing DNA to Cure Disease.’ This does give rise to infinite possibilities but trials of CRISPR/Cas9 have shown more troubling results than what was anticipated. With mutations showing in the parts of the genome that wasn’t targeted within the DNA can deteriorate someone’s health even more than improve it.

More so, if such unstable edits were made to embryos, this could result in unwanted changes that could permanently enter the gene pool altering the gene structure of all future generations. Moreover, with ‘Designer Babies,’ which includes allowing parents to choose the traits of their babies, the ethicists argue the consequences that are to follow later.

It is true, as we still a gaping hole between our understanding of not just the genes that might be causing a certain disease but also the disease itself. Moreover, we also are unaware of the after-effects of the gene mutation or surgery.

This was just one of the many case studies that describe the uncertainty that comes along with biotechnology. Another risk that is so often discussed and has shown its face in the form of a threat from North Korea, would be weaponizing biotech.

Weaponizing Biology

Risks of Biotechnology
Via Wikipedia

So far we have observed the devastating effects of natural borne diseases like Ebola and Zika Virus. However, the malicious use of biotechnology could lead to disastrous terrorist or state war, resulting in outbreaks on purpose. Also called bioweapons. These biological weapons can prove to be deadlier than a regular war as it won’t cause generational or transmittal destruction. These bioweapons translate into deadly diseases, poisons, and genetic warfare.

Referencing back to North Korea, which could be armed with advanced, underestimated, and highly lethal bioweapons that are deadlier than a nuclear bomb. North Korea is collaborating with foreign researchers to learn and develop advanced biotechnology skills along with the machinery to support their weaponry biotechnology pursuits; according to an analysis issued by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

This is one of the long-standing threats of biotechnology that shouldn’t be ignored for the sake of humanity. What is even more alarming, that with the recent advances in biotechnology, these bioweapons can be produced with much less and cheap materials. Provided you have adequate scientific knowledge. Additionally, with the rapid research advances and accessibility over the web, it doesn’t take long to Google a few things and get to work on creating them on your own.

Hopefully,

Scientific advances have allowed ill intentions to exploit biotech advances. Nonetheless, the same scientific researchers can find a solution to such threats before they even come to fruition. Taking the example of COVID. Whether man-made or natural borne, biotechnology enabled rapid production of vaccines that can potentially eliminate COVID entirely; if not completely then reduce the influence to a certain degree.

Of course, behind such biotechnology firms are biotech consulting firms, that are doing their part in providing maximum assistance where required in order to generate favorable results. The benefits and risks of biotechnology are immense, the pros to be more than the cons. However, the threat cannot be undermined. Nonetheless, this post must have given you the necessary insight.

Sources:

  • https://theconversation.com/crispr-cas-gene-editing-technique-holds-great-promise-but-research-moratorium-makes-sense-pending-further-study-43371?sa=pg1&sq=bessen&sr=1
  • http://crosstalk.cell.com/blog/5-biotech-trends-im-excited-about-in-2020
  • https://advancedbiotech.in/biotechnology-applications-in-industry/
  • https://builtin.com/biotech
  • https://byjus.com/biology/what-is-biotechnology/
  • https://www.bio.org/what-biotechnology

 

What is Biotechnology Used for in Critical Industries?

Biotechnology is not a newly coined term in the world. However, a lot needs to be written and researched in the field for all the world to acknowledge. People have been actively working on the subject for more than 6000 years in numerous industries. But the growth Biotechnology has embraced these years is genuinely transforming to the core. The reason why to get to hear the term often. Activities relating to researching and working on cellular and biomolecular process for the development of techniques and technologies instrumental in our daily lives constitute Biotechnology. Let’s look more into the developments happening for ages under the umbrella;

Healthcare Sector

You need not study in-depth to learn the landmarks Biotech has achieved for the objective of letting people spend their lives in a happy and healthy manner. Guess which subject contributed significantly in producing of Covid-19 vaccines that recently recently-in-use? You got that right. Apart from the Pandemic, there are numerous other Infectious Diseases, the threats of which are minimized by the very tech. These infections rank second among the leading causes of death across the globe. Hence, Biotechnology has been an Immense Healer of the Healthcare Industry. Moreover, experts anticipate the current progress to significantly and historically impact more in the near future.

Food Industry

You’ll be surprised to compile the long list if you just search for what is Biotechnology used for, particularly in the food industry. The use of technological approaches for better food quality and higher production is not a new development if you observe it practically in the Farming World. In fact, modification in the food apart from injecting healthy nutrients has also positively affected the protection of the environment. As the resistance of food against pesticides and insecticides has drastically improved. The lesser the use of chemicals, the better for wildlife, water, and the land. Life Sciences Consulting Industry is progressing in the niche to explore the possible benefits humans can reap from food.

Energy Sector

Biotechnology has been introducing numerous disruptions for decades, and the drill is not going to stop any soon. The cloth cleaning process improvement saving up to $4.1 billion annually speaks volumes for the utility the developments have facilitated. The use of biobased fuels, along with entertaining the growing demand for energy resources, also helps minimize the damage to our planet’s health. As they are low in carbon and don’t emit harmful gasses. Cellulosic biofuels, which were traditionally known as waste, are now holistically changing the game. In consequence, Ethanol biorefineries leading in comparison to the petroleum refineries.

The above piece of writing is just a quick representative of how revolutionizing Biotechnology has proven to be mainly in recent history. Just dive into the most profound depth of the Technological World; you’ll get to observe the unbelievable influence of the field.