Biotech: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

Biotech is often a hot topic in the news. It's not just the next big thing; it's already here. Biotechnology has been around for over 30 years, but its use in medicine really took off with the discovery of monoclonal antibodies in 1975. Today, it's used to treat an array of diseases including cancer and Alzheimer's disease—and there are many more areas where it holds promise. Some aspects of this field can be confusing, though, especially for non-scientists who aren't always privy to the latest research and discovery.

 

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In this post we'll break down both sides: potential benefits as well as risks associated with biotechnology research and development (R&D). We'll also try to answer some common questions people have about this specialty area.

 

Biotech is categorized as high-growth

Biotech is defined as the "application of scientific knowledge to the development of products" and is a major sector in high-growth economies. According to Precedence Research, the biotechnology market size is expected to surpass around US$ 1,683.52 billion by 2030 and expand growth at a CAGR of 8.7% from 2021 to 2030. Many countries are striving to become leaders in this area, which has led to an increase in funding for research and development projects. Boston has remained the world’s “biotech hub” for the last few years. 

 

It's making a huge impact on human lives

The biotech industry has been making strides for decades now when it comes to finding cures for diseases and improving our quality of life. One such example is cancer treatment: over the past 30 years or so, new drugs have been developed which can target specific types of cancers or even individual tumors within a patient's body. These drugs are responsible for saving millions of lives every year around the world because they give doctors better tools with which they can treat patients' conditions without causing too much harm elsewhere in their bodies (something radiation therapy often does). Other examples include: 

  • DNA sequencing has helped researchers develop new treatments for cancer and other diseases; 
  • Genetic engineering can help farmers produce more nutritious crops; 
  • Synthetic biology is being used to create new antibiotics; 
  • Stem cell research holds promise for treating Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injuries; 
  • CRISPR gene editing could make us resistant to HIV/AIDS or malaria; 
  • 3D printing brings us closer than ever before toward being able to construct replacement organs from scratch

 

Therapeutic strategies can be cost-prohibitive.

Biotech has the potential to help many people, but it's not always a cure-all. The cost of biotech can be prohibitive, especially if you're not covered by insurance. Drug development is often expensive; clinical trials cost millions of dollars and take years to complete. Once trials are over, many biotechs face high manufacturing delivery costs, since devices like inhalers require specialized engineering expertise and facilities.

Beyond drug production, organizations are expected to invest in marketing campaigns or other advertising and promotion, which are costly, but necessary, in order to educate doctors about new products and convince them that they're worth the price. Finding a trusted partner, with experience in CRM systems like HubSpot, can provide a huge advantage, especially in early days. 

 

Biotech is complicated but it holds great promise.

With great responsibility...comes a lot of complexity. Biotech is no exception and is a complicated field. Compliance regulations can delay production and create problems, on top of existing manufacturing and production issues. Staffing can also be an issue; employees have been shown to burnout quicker in high-tech, high-growth industries, which not only leads to higher turnover, but also increased hiring costs.

Lastly, and underlying most aforementioned challenges, is a small budget. Given that many biotechs are also startups, they’re often dealing with less funding. This can lead to people doing jobs or covering positions they're not always trained for.  For example, if the CFO or other C-suite position is moonlighting as a marketer, it means they have less time to do their core tasks, and that the organization as a whole may struggle to get the funding they need due to lack of proper promotion and advertisement. Finding a partner with experience in marketing is key. At iuvo Technologies, we not only help organizations implement HubSpot, but also manage their entire marketing strategy.

 

 

Biotech isn’t perfect. It has its share of problems and limitations, but it also holds great promise. With more research being done every day on new ways to use this technology—from cancer drugs to stem cell therapies—there's a lot of potential to change peoples' lives.

iuvo Technologies is the expert in both startups and biotech, and can help you reach key goals. Contact us to get started on your journey today.   

 

 

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