Conflicts and Prospects for the Biotech Sector

As the heir to a rich traditions of gardening and pharmaceutical drug breakthroughs, biotechnology has a big promise: drugs that take care of diseases, prevent them, or perhaps cure them; new sources of energy just like ethanol; and better crops and foods. Moreover, its technologies are helping to address the world’s environmental and public challenges.

Despite this legacy of success, the industry faces many difficulties. A major cause is that general public equity marketplaces are terribly designed for businesses whose cash flow and profits depend entirely upon long-term research projects that can take years to full and may produce either historic breakthroughs or perhaps utter failures. Meanwhile, the industry’s fragmented structure with scores of small , specialized players across far-flung disciplines impedes the sharing and the use of critical knowledge. Finally, the system for making money with intellectual asset gives individual firms a motivation to secure valuable research knowledge rather than share this openly. This has led to bitter disputes more than research and development, like the one among Genentech and Lilly more than their recombinant human growth hormone or Amgen and Johnson & Johnson over their erythropoietin drug.

However the industry is evolving. The tools of finding have become far more diverse than previously, with genomics, combinatorial biochemistry, high-throughput screening process, and Everything offering opportunities to explore new frontiers. Strategies are also becoming developed to tackle “undruggable” proteins and also to target disease targets whose biology can be not very well understood. The challenge now is to integrate these developments across the selection of scientific, technical, and useful websites.