Press Release
Feb 2, 2022
What is Biotechnology?

The most simple explanation of biotechnology is that it’s a very broad area of biology. Biotechnology makes use of biological systems, living systems or organisms to develop or make products. These products are usually designed to help improve human health and the health of our planet. 

So Biotechnology has some large responsibilities! It can be so complex that it’s often split out into different types and whilst there are many types, there are 4 main areas of consideration:

  • Medical Biotechnology – focussing on the pharmaceutical and medical professions, it aims to improve the quality of life and ease pain for humankind.
  • Industrial Biotechnology – garnering living calls from plants and bacteria among other sources to create products that need less energy during production, meaning less waste.
  • Agricultural Biotechnology – exploring ways to produce stronger crops including the reduction of harmful pesticides to make for a better planet whilst still supporting farming.
  • Marine Biotechnology – exploring options to sources energy from our oceans and all that exists under the sea. 

Our focus here at Biophys is, of course, medical biotechnology which sees biotechnology companies being involved in medical device development, production of new drugs, antibodies, vaccines and critical biological research for the benefit of us all. Biotechnology has made huge advances in defining specific medicines and treatments for patients that are more specific to their condition or illness, creating a more personalised approach to healthcare and combating antimicrobial resistance. 

So what’s antimicrobial resistance (AMR)? Antimicrobials are medicines or treatments used to prevent or treat infections in all living things, whether it’s you, an animal or a plant. They include antibiotics, antifungals and antiparasitics. Antimicrobial resistance happens when a bacteria or virus develops over a period of time and no longer responds to these medicines. It makes these conditions or diseases difficult to treat, can cause them to spread and increases the risk of serious illness or death. 

AMR is a serious global concern and an AMR Industry Alliance has been formed as a large private sector coalition aiming to provide sustainable solutions to curb AMR. It is the life-sciences industry response to call for action. They say: “AMR is present in every country around the world and infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria can cause death... Due to resistance to antibiotics, treatment for common infections such as intestinal bacteria Klebsiella pneumoniae and urinary tract infections are proving ineffective in more than half of patients in many parts of the world… This is an urgent problem that affects us all.” You can read more about the plans to tackle this issue in their progress reports on their website. 

Furthermore, The Lancet recently published a new report highlighting the scale of the problem: “On the basis of our predictive statistical models, there were an estimated 4·95 million (3·62–6·57) deaths associated with bacterial AMR in 2019, including 1·27 million (95% UI 0·911–1·71) deaths attributable to bacterial AMR... Lower respiratory infections accounted for more than 1·5 million deaths associated with resistance in 2019, making it the most burdensome infectious syndrome.”

In recent times, COVID-19 has brought the issue of AMR to the forefront for the healthcare industry and without the crucial biotechnology companies working to provide a vaccination programme and in vitro diagnostic medical devices to test and control the virus, we may be looking at a very different world in 2022. 

Biophys is committed to supporting the life sciences industry in the fight against AMR and brings a whole lifetime of experience with them to advise biotechnology companies, assist in the development and design of in vitro diagnostic medical devices or even provide interim management for your business. Take a look at our full list of services here to see how we can support you. 

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