Overview

BIOTECHNOLOGY is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products, or any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use.

Biotechnology also considers biological sciences (genetics, microbiology, animal cell culture, molecular biology, biochemistry, embryology and cell biology)

The term itself is largely believed to have originated in 1919 by Hungarian engineer Karl Ereky. In the late 20th and early 21st century, biotechnology has expanded to include new and diverse sciences such as genomics, recombinant gene technologies, applied immunology and development of pharmaceutical therapies and tests.

PHARMACEUTICAL
BIOTECHNOLOGY

Traditional pharmaceutical

drugs are relatively small molecules that bind to particular molecular targets and either activate or deactivate biological processes. Small molecules are typically manufactured through traditional organic synthesis, and many can be taken orally.

Biopharmaceuticals

are large biological molecules such as proteins that are developed to address targets that cannot easily be addressed by small molecules. Due to their larger size, and corresponding difficulty with surviving the stomach, colon and liver, biopharmaceuticals are typically injected.

ADVANTAGES OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
IN DEVELOPING NOVEL MEDICINES

Biotechnology allows

the development and production of new substances that were previously beyond the capacity of traditional technologies. This includes the design and production of new drugs with greater potency and specificity and, consequently, fewer side effects. One example of this is the treatment for multiple sclerosis.

Concerns about product safety

in developed countries have largely been removed thanks to the development of biopharmaceuticals. Biotechnology offers a greater control over the manufacturing process, allowing significant reduction in risks of contamination through infectious pathogens. A prime example is the blood products used to treat haemophilia.

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