The Dawn of the Biotech Century
We are in the first quarter of 2021, and it has officially been a year since the deadly pathogen, now called COVID-19, has taken over the world. We have lived under isolation and quarantine for the majority of 2020, and now with COVID vaccines insight, we have a ray of hope with a certain level of uncertainty.
With 1.84 million deaths and 47.8 Million recovered, the role of biotech has become more evident.
Now imagine if you were equipped with the foresight and knowledge of what deadly disease is to strike you, you'd prepare adequately beforehand – apart from stocking on the N95 masks, sanitizers, and ventilators – you will also invest billions of dollars in biopharma research, development, and tests to fight back with full force.
Of course, COVID-19 is not the first deadly pathogen released onto the world – which is why, since 1995, the relevant businesses and government agencies have invested around $2 trillion in the health health-related R&D in the United States alone. Such high investments gave rise to a series of scientific breakthroughs and medical successes, out of which we know some as 'human genome,' 'Gene Therapy,' 'Immunotherapy of Cancer, 'and others.
All the solutions mentioned above and the creation of COVID vaccines are a witness to the biotech era's dawn, where there is extensive research carried out over human biology. This high focus on human biology has led to a faster, cheaper, and more accurate development of drugs, medicinal therapies, and treatments with the failure rate significantly reduced. Moreover, the drug development cost has been rising exponentially, with only 14% of drugs entering clinical trials and even fewer getting approved.
The high drug development cost usually increases drug prices when it gets commercialized, which is another area that is being worked on. Considering how rapidly some of the diseases are spreading is requires treatment; if the cost of acquiring the drug is high for an average man, then that beats the purpose of 'saving humanity.'
However, at this point, if the cost of the medicine produced is reduced, that can result in low quality, inadequate testing, and even rushed development of the drug or treatment, which is terrible news. However, there is no definite agreement on why the cost of the scientific advances that have been at the forefront of many problems faced by humanity still cannot lower price.
Apart from the high development price resulting in a high cost of the drug resulting from that development, three leading hypotheses can be considered.
Another undeniable factor causing the drug development cost to skyrocket is that the complex diseases and the growing consumer demand will be hard to meet with the current resources. Therefore, it is essential to push the drugs and medicine's development cost even further to accurately produce the required dosages of medication, one that is thoroughly tested. Moreover, as mentioned above, the drug development as an entire process is quite extensive, which adds to the elevating cost of drug development.
However, there is much to rejoice about. For starters, with the advancements of technology in data science – AI, ML, and Blockchain – the process has significantly improved and fastened.
So, the arduous yet time-consuming task of analyzing large data sets, along with the predictive analysis of what is to come (like patterns, near accurate predictions, and more), can be done automatically with these technologies' help. One of the biggest challenges that any biotech firm has to tackle immediately is the scarcity of available data sets for study and analysis.
As much as we claim that it is a biotech century, we also know that the technology is still very much in its infancy; like smartphones and automobiles, this requires a fair amount of years to mature. Think about the first generation of smartphones and first-gen of automobiles; they weren't the best but were the most in-demand at the time. Similarly, trying to speed up the biotechnology innovation with the speeding spread of diseases will do us more damage than good. How? Considering the severity of the matter about biotechnology, it simply cannot be rushed. The lives of humanity, living organisms, and the overall planet depend upon the invaluable research, testing, and development of biotech firms. One wrong or unnoticed move can start another round of side effects or pathogens that could have been avoided if more time and resources were allocated to the drug development.
Lastly, we have got to give credit to the biotech consulting firms that have enabled the progression of these biotech firms in the right direction; form making sure the products are of high quality, along with the value for money they are providing to the consumers, and the biotech firm’s compliance to the rules and regulations is important. Along with that, if they require assistance in streamlining their workflow and optimize it for maximum production along with reduced costs, top biotech consulting firms are there to do that job.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
William Patrick Slattery, the President, and CEO of Nieuw Amsterdam Advisors, a life sciences consulting firm.He is regarded as one of the top marketing experts in the Life Sciences industry noted for combining a calm demeanor with a shrewd negotiation skill set that allows for navigating the most challenging business environments on behalf of his client firms.