Important Challenges Biopharma Is Trying to Solve

Some of the technological advances in medicine that we enjoy today are thanks to the work of the biopharma industry.

Biopharmaceuticals, which are companies that specialize in developing drugs from biological sources using biotechnology, have been on the cutting edge of technological advancements for years. Millions of people across the world have enjoyed the progress gained from this scientific advancement.

At the same time, biopharma business has grown rapidly, doubling to a $3 trillion industry.

Recently, the biopharma industry has worked to solve new problems. Biopharmaceutical companies are pioneering work on projects such as human genome editing, allergy treatment, digital pills and gene therapy, among many others.

Cancer and Autoimmune Diseases

One of the most compelling innovations in recent years is the discovery of the genome editing technology known as Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, or simply, CRISPR. University and biopharma researchers found that an enzyme from a species of bacteria can edit DNA sequences to turn a gene function on or off. Scientists can then, theoretically, use this tool to alter human DNA, potentially helping people fight off deadly diseases.

During a 2017 study, researchers at Cardiff University in Cardiff, Wales, found that with CRISPR genome editing, they were able to boost the cancer-destroying abilities of the human body’s T-cells, antibodies that humans produce within ourselves to fight bacteria and foreign substances. The researchers found that by genetically modifying a set of killer T-cells, they could essentially program the cells to identify and destroy specific cancer cells.

With the financial strength of the biopharma industry, this technological advancement could find its way to hospitals and doctor’s offices across the country, as well as other industries that could use CRISPR genome editing to modify genes.

Peanut Allergy Treatment

It’s estimated that as many as 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies, with peanuts as one of the major food allergens. But thanks to work in the biopharma industry, a cure for the peanut allergy could be closer than ever.

French biopharmaceutical firm DBV Technologies announced in October 2017 the results of a clinical trial of children ages 4 to 11 years old that found 35.3 percent of patients responded positively to the peanut vaccine Viaskin, compared to just 13.6 percent of patients who saw improvement with a placebo.

With so many people worldwide suffering from peanut allergies, a cure could be a financial windfall for biopharmaceutical companies.

Digital Pills

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new invention from a Japanese biopharmaceutical firm that could revolutionize how doctors prescribe medicine to patients.

It’s estimated that nonadherence to doctor’s orders, whether taking too many or too few pills at a time, costs the United States an estimated $100 billion per year, as the patient then gets sicker and sometimes is hospitalized.

But in November 2017, the FDA approved a so-called digital pill that transmits signals to a wearable patch on a person’s skin and then to a smartphone that records if and/or when a patient has taken his or her prescribed dose. The technology could revolutionize how doctors prescribe medicine to patients and help keep more people out of hospital emergency rooms.

Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co. has partnered with Proteus Digital Health on the digital pill project, and is forging a new path in what Proteus calls “a new category of therapy.”

Gene Therapy to Cure Blindness

The United States is edging closer to a cutting-edge drug that could cure blindness.

Luxturna, developed by the biopharmaceutical firm, Spark Therapeautics, was unanimously recommended by the FDA’s Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee, and could become the first gene therapy drug available in the U.S. for treatment of a single genetic disease.

The single-use injection has been found in clinical trials to improve the vision of patients who suffer from vision loss due to an inherited retinal disease.

Spark Therapeutics is one of a growing number of biopharma companies specializing in gene therapy solutions. Since its founding in March 2013, it has secured $1 billion in funding to support its clinical programs and platform.

Be Part of a Growing Industry

The biopharma industry is on the cutting edge of the latest scientific and medical advances, and every year these advances are changing the world. Be part of making the world a better place with Husson University’s fully online MBA Concentration in Biotechnology and Innovation. Learn about the biopharmaceutical industry in small classes designed with your success in mind, where you’ll examine topics such as biotechnological product development, marketing, sales, product management and much more.

There is an unmistakable entrepreneurial spirit in the biopharma industry, and Husson University’s online MBA Concentration in Biotechnology and Innovation can help you start your own business or lucrative career in biopharmaceuticals.