Trends unfolding as biotechnology eyes beyond medicinal applications


  • For the last 20 months, the biotechnology sector has been dominated by ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which provoked an increase in research and business activity.
  • The emerging technologies in the biotech sector are offering the potential of developing innovative therapies for complex diseases.
  • With the latest developments and use of advanced technology, healthcare sector is well placed for further impressive growth.

The biotechnology industry offers a novel platform for conducting research and a variety of experiments focusing on medicine. Biotech startup companies, multinational pharmaceutical firms, as well as government research organisations develop novel therapies for rare and complex diseases, as well as genetic tests for better identification of inherited diseases.

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While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is influencing the sector at present, leading to an increase in research and business activities, the biotech industry is also witnessing developments that will propel the  growth of the sector further, even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

RELATED READ: When will the COVID-19 pandemic end?

The sector is also witnessing an increased interests from market participants, who are focusing on companies associated with emerging technologies that offer the potential for innovative therapies, including genome editing as well as synthetic biology.

With this backdrop, let us discuss some key trends that are shaping the future of the biotechnology industry-

Use of advanced computing technology

Technology has constantly remained at the heart of biotechnology industry. The development of advanced computing technology like machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) enables the biotech players to expand the scope of their research.

With the use of computing technology, companies can also improve efficiency in the manufacturing process. This will lessen the time the biotech players required to bring new therapeutic products to market.

In the field of medicine, the ability to analyse a big set of data helps the industry players in identifying the treatments based on the actual reason of any disease indication. Moreover, the development of cloud computing technology has eliminated a hindrance for many innovations in biotech.

Source: © Leowolfert |

Gene Editing

Genetic engineering has come very far from the modification of genes in organisms by random addition of foreign deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) to make precise edits in genomes. The increased efficiency of gene editing is supported by the emergence and development of engineered nucleases, and recently CRISPR (a technology that can be used to edit genes) as molecular scissors. In addition, the emergence of new gene-editing technologies opens therapy applications to treat genetic disorders and other conditions, with new gene-editing techniques of adding, replacing, or silencing particular genes.

Emergence of new technologies for gene editing opens up applications in gene therapy. (Source: ©Vchalup |

Precision Medicine

The emergence of precision medicine technology offers treatment on the basis of a comprehensive range of essential aspects including environment, lifestyle, as well as gene variability. The use of precision medicine is spreading across the worldwide healthcare industry as it offers outstanding treatment options for various critical health indications.

The precision medicine technology also allows for achieving imagined conclusions and treatment for different health indications with the help of specific biomarker systems and genomics.

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Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology designs and develops advanced biological parts, systems, as well as devices. Moreover, synthetic biology also provides high-level standardisation and reproducibility. This will allow manipulation of organisms at the level of gene networks.  

Synthetic biology also comprises the re-designing of various currently available natural biological systems for functional purposes.

Value-based Pricing

In healthcare value-based pricing, the payers and healthcare firms enter into a pricing deal to link the costs for medicines to value achieved instead of volume sold. These contracts are intended to line up incentives between the manufacturers and purchasers of medicines. Value-based agreements recognise that both parties are holding a financial risk in using a new therapeutic product.

RELATED ARTICLE: What is value-based pricing in healthcare?

Bottom Line

Supported by the adoption of new and emerging trends in the biotechnology sector, the industry is well positioned to witness impressive growth. Furthermore, while the biotech industry is still largely focused on medicine, the start-ups in the sector are exploring new ideas to provide solutions in diverse range of applications.