Biotechnology has evolved from a lab science to a commercial commodity that is going to transform lives. With the advent of genetic engineering to molecular genetics, biotech has come a long way. There have been a number of projects launched on public scale, with one of them being the Human Genome Project. It’s accomplishment in 2001 marked one of the major breakthroughs in this field.
Now things have progressed towards Human Microbiome Project, whose premise is on profiling the microbes that are present in human’s gut. All this success has been possible due to the better access of technology and better analytical techniques. As opposed to the first generation sequencing, experts in the field are now equipped with next generation sequencing that is massively quick.
The cost factor has driven investors in this field as well, with an example coming in the form of the creation of Paramount BioCapital in 1991. It’s Chairman and Founder Lindsay Rosenwald, was one of the first to highlight the need of asset and business ventures in biosciences.
The Hub of Innovation
The main crux of biotechnology is that it’s rapidly introducing innovations in all applicable fields. In case of medical research, it is providing new tools for diagnosis and potential cures. Rapid molecular testing techniques have now become a hall mark in the case of detection of infectious diseases. DNA vaccines, which are still in clinical trials, offer the promise of providing effective cure.
Similar innovations in this regards have been the development of edible vaccines and also the concept of personalized medicine. Personalized medicine is seen as one of the direct benefits of the human genome project. The concept involves using information from the genome it is possible to tailor makes medicine for the disease individual. Mutation and polymorphic variation within a population can be easily detected with the help of effective bioinformatics tools. RNAi, gene therapy and stem cells approach are new avenues of cure in the domain of health biotechnology.
The New Horizon
Biotech can now produce effective recombinant proteins using enhanced bacterial strains. Genetic engineering has allowed field experts to produce optimal proteins as per human requirement. Advancement in this has been made in the form of better probiotics and bio fortification. It is possible to create plants with constructs for better bioavailability of minerals like phosphorous and calcium. This is being used to address the issue of food security around the globe.
With better avenues of commercialization available in the domain of health biotechnology, there has been an increased developed of BioPharma industries. We have initial pioneers like Genetech and the current giants like Roche. Amgen is also leading in the pharmaceutical side. The investment in biotechnology has been on the higher side, and especially with the benefits of medical biotech being made clear, there is an increased public interest.
Biotechnology holds immense potential in terms of the providence of the acute health care system. The efforts of health biotechnology are already defining the growth of medicine and human health in this decade. It’s a continual process of discovery and delivery.