What is Biotechnology?
Biotechnology is a science that utilizes or manipulates biological processes to improve human life and better the world. It involves the study of living beings, their physiology, genetic makeup, and patterns of living and harnesses this knowledge to develop solutions for some of mankind’s pressing issues.
Scope of Biotechnology
Cure for various diseases have been discovered by biotech researchers. Pharmaceutical companies study genes and their behavior and manipulate them to avoid genetic disorders in offsprings. Genetically modified crops are pest-resilient, give better yield and benefit the farmer and the consumer. Scientists have developed techniques to accelerate biological processes in many applications like the production of bio fuels, fermented food businesses etc.
Emerging Biotechnology companies in United States
A number of biotechnology companies operate out of the San Francisco Bay Area and around the city of Boston. A healthy VC Funding environment and the availability of a large pool of talented researchers, has encouraged these industries to come up in large numbers. Some of the focus areas of these companies aregene synthesis, genetic manipulation, development of drugs and the devising of targeted drug therapies.
A promising company in SF has been working on developing therapeutic drugs for autoimmune disorders like arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Diabetes Mellitus.
Another biotech startup based in Boston focuses on the development of small molecules for the treatment of cancer and other diseases affecting the immune system. Small molecules are very light in weight and when administered, enter the cell structure easily. Once they enter the cell, they influence other molecules to act against the cancer cells and kill them. This leads to the recovery of the patient from cancer.
Ancillary companies that provide lab equipment, diagnostic devices and software, tools, medical supplies, pharmaceutics, reagents, and market research and analysis, have sprung up to serve the increasing demands of these biotech establishments.
Funding for startup and emerging biotech companies in the United States has been very encouraging. This is because of the novel approaches being pitched in by these firms. The companies are venturing into unexplored territories and seem to be headed in the right direction. The inclusive health care programs of recent governments have added fillip to the growth of biotech organizations and researchers.
The Chinese Biotechnology sector is growing at a tremendous pace. The companies in the US have to ensure that they stay ahead in the race. They should focus on making their technology reach other high potential markets in developing nations.
Frequent changes in regulatory policies governing genetic research are inhibiting the pace of research.
Companies are starting to explore the possibility of applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) to process or decode genes.
Cure for debilitating conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, life-threatening diseases like AIDS and Cancer, and rare genetic disorders are the major focus areas for biotech companies.
Research is going on for collaboration of biotechnology and 3D printing, to produce prosthetics and transplantable artificial organs.
Hope biotechnology takes giant strides to make the world a better place for all of us.