By Jami Gibson

Biotechnology Manufacturing, one of the fastest-growing industries, is expected to increase in revenue by 8% per year over the next 4 years. What is driving this growth, and what opportunities and challenges will biotech companies face in the near future?

According to First Research, these are a few of the trends and opportunities currently shaping the biotech industry:

Genomics/Gene Therapy
Gene therapies are being tailored based upon a patient’s genetic code. This allows for a more targeted treatment at a faster speed and lower cost than ever before.

Antibody Therapy for Cancer
A promising discovery in cancer therapy has led researchers to successfully block the growth signal of certain cancer cells through the use of antibodies. Further research into antibody therapy will certainly continue.

Genetically Modified Foods
Biotechnology has been used to make plants that grow at an accelerated rate and are resistant to disease, insects, and herbicides. While this makes for better crop yields, there clearly are concerns about the safety of these plants.

Creation of BARDA
After 9/11, biosecurity became more of a pressing issue in the U.S. Legislation was passed that created the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). The agency’s mission is to coordinate government efforts with emerging life sciences companies to further vaccine, antiviral, and diagnostic R&D.

There are also critical issues that biotech companies face as challenges within the industry.

Development Expenses/Uncertain Approval
Imagine spending millions of dollars and years devoted to developing and testing a product, only to have it declined by the FDA. This happens all too often, and can mean the end for many biotech firms.

Patent Protection
Biotech products and processes are only protected through patents for 20 years. While that may seem like a long period of time, often, several of those years are spent in the development and testing phases, so when the product hits the market, much of the exclusivity period has passed.

Biotech manufacturing continues to be a strong target industry for many regions, and that shows no sign of slowing down. To learn more about what’s happening within the industry, check out resources such as BioWorld and FierceBiotech.

Source: First Research