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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: February 2020

3 - The Biotechnology Sector: Therapeutics


In the chapter “The Biotechnology Sector – Therapeutics”, the author covers a wide range of topics summarizing the significant role that the formation and growth of the biotechnology sector has played in the entire biopharmaceutical industry. The chapter begins with a bit of history, from the earliest days of how genetic engineering gave birth to this sector, and takes the reader through an overview of biotechnology as it exists today and how the growing innovation in science over the years has been able to both drive the sector and have a tremendous impact on healthcare overall. There is a particular focus on describing various types of innovation which have played a huge role in driving product development in the broader biopharmaceutical industry. Later in the chapter, there is a focus on many of the business aspects of the sector, as drug development in biotechnology requires enormous amounts of capital for success. The author outlines many of the key issues related to different business and financing models that we see across the sector, in addition to the unique management issues in small biotechnology companies. There is significant description and explanation of the symbiotic relationship between the larger pharmaceutical companies and smaller biotechnology start-ups with a focus on how they help each other to bring transformative medicines to patients. The chapter concludes with a discussion about international and regulatory aspects impacting the sector. Overall the author tells the story of the birth and growth of this exciting sector, and its impact on patients and drug development over the last forty years, well substantiated with current data to build the case for how biotechnology today plays a major role in driving one of the most important and exciting technological industries of our time.

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