Companies in this industry manufacture drugs, therapies, vaccines, and other products based on genetically manipulated compounds. Major companies include US-based Amgen, Biogen, Genentech (owned by Switzerland-based Roche), Gilead Sciences, and Monsanto, as well as CSL (Australia), Merck KGaA (Germany), Novo Nordisk (Denmark), and the biotech research arms of major international pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi (France).
Biotech firms face stiff competition from major pharmaceutical manufacturers and other companies seeking to be first with a new product or discovery. Development is often focused on high-demand, profitable markets such as cancer or rare disease treatment. Biopharmaceutical companies depend on gaining regulatory and insurance coverage approval for new treatments. They may also count on participation in government research or expedited approval programs.
Products, Operations & Technology
Biotechnology is used to produce drugs, therapies, vaccines, and medical diagnostic tests. Medicines primarily target cancers, neurology, inflammation, and infectious disease, as well as autoimmune, metabolic, hematologic, respiratory, and cardiovascular ailments and rare genetic diseases. Biotech is also used to produce genetically modified (GM) plants and crops; DNA fingerprinting; environmental products that aid in the clean-up of hazardous waste; and industrial applications such as biofuels.