Recent biotechnology trends such as the rising demand for therapeutic and diagnostic solutions, DNA sequencing, genome editing, and advancements in novel technologies are expected to spur the growth of biotech companies, globally. This growth is further fuelled by the increasing demand for genetics and regenerative medicines, penetration of artificial intelligence in the industry, and favorable policies. However, the implementation of stringent regulatory frameworks and risks associated with genetic data along with high operational costs may hinder the market’s progress. Here are the new trends in the biotechnology industry that companies need to track to ensure success in the biotech market.
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What are the Latest Biotechnology Trends?
Biotechnology trends #1: CRISPR/ Cas biosensing systems
Apart from genome editing, the CRISPR/ Cas9 effector has wide biosensing applications. It allows highly sensitive, specific, rapid, cost-efficient, and multiplex detection of target nucleic acids without the need for technical expertise and complicated equipment. As the field continues to mature, genome editing with CRISPR/Cas systems will gain massive popularity for next-generation diagnostic biosensing platforms.
Biotechnology trends #2: New industrial therapeutic frontiers
Microvesicles (MVs) released by body cells can now be utilized for smart targeted therapeutic drug delivery systems. The crucial advantages of MVs over drugs include lack of immunogenicity, ability to overcome natural barriers, and intrinsic cell targeting properties. MVs are easier to process and can be modified for specific applications. Currently, naive (unmodified) and drug-loaded MVs are under development and are expected to impact the whole biotech industry.
Biotechnology trends #3: Cancer immunotherapy
Cancer immunotherapy development is expected to move beyond the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T- cells in 2019. Next-generation cell allogeneic products are expected to start registration trials of UCART19 in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in the second half of 2019. This is one of the major biotechnology trends that can work in the favor of top biotech and biopharma companies.
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Biotechnology trends #4: Bionic organisms
Although the concept of bionic organisms may sound like straight-up science fiction, they can help alter the functionality of a living system to a great extent. In simple terms, cochlear implants and robotic prostheses can be described as cyborg devices and microchipping cat or dog will make it a bionic pet.
Biotechnology trends #5: Miniaturized bioreactors
Advances in microfluidic fabrication capabilities have compelled biotech companies to design flow bioreactors at the microscale. Such bioreactors incorporate enzymes to produce highly pure products with minimum cost and biological investment, while ensuring portability and ease of operations. This trend of designing devices with unusual flow paths is expected to be on the rise in the biotech sector.
Biotechnology trends #6: Increase in regulatory demands
The biotech industry is characterized by a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape and growing concerns about transparency for both stakeholders. As a result, the biotech sector has been subjected to increased scrutiny and more stringent monitoring guidelines. For instance, the Physicians’ Payment Sunshine Act in the US requires disclosure of physicians having tie-ups with pharma companies. Furthermore, the FDA has started a regulatory body for Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs).
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Biotechnology trends #7: Better investments
Supporting industries such as health services companies in the biotech sector will continue to shine brightly for investors. Billions of dollars are being invested in the healthcare industry as a whole and higher valuations are expected to stay consistent over the next few years despite experiencing a rough financial year.
Biotechnology trends #8: Rise of generics
Very soon, it is expected that the number of generics and biosimilars in the market will continue to grow. Blockbuster drugs that can be replaced by traditional small-molecule generics are certain to face strong challenges from generic competitors over the next 10 years. Also, it will force innovators to accelerate the search for products that can reduce the healthcare costs for patients.