The global biotechnology market is expected to exceed $727 billion by 2025. With major advances in treatments, diagnostics and research, this sector is revolutionizing medicine in many exciting ways. Here are some of the 3 key drivers of those advances.
Personalization and Precision in Medicine
By leveraging the wealth of data made available in the internet age and the new technology being developed each year, biotech companies are finding innovative ways to make diagnostics and treatments that are increasingly targeted and more personalized.
Individual patients present different symptoms and respond differently to treatments. Despite this variation, many of our existing diagnostics and treatments are a one-size-fits-all model that ends up leading to later discovery of serious diseases like cancer and a lack of predictability in how a patient will respond to a particular treatment.
Many biotech companies are trying to change this one-size-fits-all model by investing in biomarker research. Individual patient biomarkers can tell doctors a lot about disease risk as well as how they might respond to different treatments.
As more biomarkers are identified, we’re confident patients can expect earlier diagnosis and treatment decisions based on personalized data, both of which could increase the odds of a positive treatment outcome. As of 2015, approximately 73% of new cancer drugs in development have the potential to be personalized based on individual patient biomarkers.
The Rise of Biobanking
Advancements in biomarker discovery and personalized medicine are strictly reliant on human biospecimens.
Biobanks collect, store and distribute patient-derived residual tissue samples, blood, other biofluids and cells for use in research. To date, the sector has been highly fragmented across biobanks that serve a particular niche and don’t always maintain extensive records of clinical data for each sample. It’s long overdue for an update, and luckily, we’re starting to see some exciting new companies answer that need.
Biobanks are critical resources for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, and for the successful utilization of biospecimens, their associated data, and downstream research. The patients and their interests are put firmly at the center of the best biobanking practices. By sharing data, implementing the latest technological tools and adopting the latest standards, biobanks unleash their full power and help to drive drug discovery.
One of those is Audubon Bioscience, which started in 2016 as a biobank with a vision for offering a simpler and more affordable way for researchers to get the high-quality biospecimens they need. In 2022, Audubon plans to launch an e-commerce platform that offers a wide variety of samples sourced from a network of clinics spanning the globe so that researchers can get the specific sample they need for their studies. The platform also should provide extensive anonymized patient data for those samples, including pathology reports, demographic data, treatment data and biomarker testing.
Innovation Driven by Biotech Startups
In the United States alone, there are more than 6,600 biotech companies. This diverse landscape of companies means that medicine is benefiting from a wide range of new ideas and new developments across every sector.
From virtual biobanking to more targeted and more effective treatments to earlier and more accurate diagnostics, biotech startups are helping build better healthcare from every angle. These innovations are being driven by growing investor interest in the space. In 2020 alone, venture capital invested more than $42 billion in biotech.
With growing private- and public-sector interest in the promising innovations coming out of the biotech space, patients can look forward to a future healthcare system where researchers have the tools they need to develop better diagnostic tools and treatment regimens that can be tailored to individual patients.
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