Biotechnology Industry Impact Service (Technical Insights)
Deliverable Type: Technical Insights Reports
Date Published: 24 Mar 2004
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Research Overview

Biochip Technology to Revolutionize the Pharmaceutical Industry

Growth in biotechnology blurs the lines of differentiation between different fields of science. For instance, biotechnology advancements are integrating with semiconductor technologies such as micro-electromechanical systems resulting in the evolution of biochips. Biochips provide pharma companies with sophisticated tools for understanding gene expressions, biological mechanisms, speedy development of drugs, and accurate diagnosis. DNA and protein biochips streamline drug development and significantly lower average drug screening costs from $2 to $0.0001. In addition, with the transition of the medical lab-on-chip (LOC) from a concept to a reality, the focus has been on developing high density and smaller-sized biochips wherein less than 300 wafers may accommodate the entire human genome. As opposed to conventional laboratory analysis, LOCs eliminate the need for trained personnel and expensive equipment to provide significant time and cost efficiencies.

This Frost & Sullivan research analyzes the biotechnology industry by providing a comprehensive view of emerging technologies and applications such as bioanalytics, biopharmaceuticals, glycobiology, nanobiotechnology, and industrial biotechnology. Analysis of the technological trends, drivers, challenges and recent developments will assist in creating effective marketing and production strategies. Participants can identify potential collaborators, stay ahead of the competition, and stay shoulder-to-shoulder with critical developments in their industries.

Developments in Protein-based Drugs Enrich Biopharmaceuticals Pipeline

The rapid evolution of glycomics as a natural extension of proteomics provides a better understanding of glycoproteins; thereby, helping the development of novel biodrugs. "Improved understanding of the structural and functional data in glycomics coupled with phenomenal developments in genetic engineering techniques drives the usage of recombinant glycoproteins as therapeutic agents and as an alternative to small molecules," says the analyst of the study.

Demand for therapeutic glycoproteins and monoclonal antibodies is expected to increase creating an urgent need for higher production capacity. Additionally, alternate manufacturing mediums such as transgenic animals, plants, and mammalian and fungal cell lines are also on the rise. Fungal cell lines, in fact, provide considerable time and cost benefits over mammalian cell lines. The latter is not only a lengthy process but may also alter the properties of the final therapeutic glycoprotein. Conversely, fungal cell lines such as engineered yeast expression systems facilitate production of humanly glycosylated protein, provide faster fermentation and generate higher product yield.

Nanobiotechnology and Extremophiles to Create Exciting Opportunities for Biotechnology

Small size, unique physical structures, and electronic properties have sparked an explosion of research in nanobiotechnology. "Carbon buckyballs and nanotubes are small enough to move inside the body serving as effective carriers of active ingredients," says the analyst. "For instance ABI 007 is a successfully tested nanocarrier that transports established anti-cancer drugs. Minute nanoparticles such as quantum dots may serve as imaging agents, revolutionizing conventional diagnostic imaging."

The application of extremophiles in industrial processes is set to usher in a new era in biotechnology. Ground breaking research into their unique ability to survive under harsh physical conditions creates numerous opportunities in bioprocessing and environmental biotechnology. Also, the potential of secondary metabolites derived from extremophiles in replacing certain industrial bioproducts is stimulating research in this area.

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