Everything About Biotech Company
Steve Jobs once said that the most significant innovations of the 21st century would occur at the intersection of biology and technology. As 2022 begins, it's no coincidence that many of his 20th-century tech visionaries, including Bill Gates and Paul Allen, are eyeing bio-his technology. Like all areas of technology, the global pandemic is expected to accelerate biotechnology development and adoption, leading to new solutions to major global challenges such as disease, food shortages, and environmental degradation.
What is Biotech?
Simply put, biotechnology is technology based on biology. Biotechnology uses cellular and biomolecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet.
What is a Biotech Company?
A biotech company is a company whose products or services primarily use biotechnology methods in production, development, or distribution. Biotech companies mainly operate in medicine, agriculture, crop production and heavy industry.
What does a biotech company do?
Typically, biotech companies produce medicines. However, many of the biggest organizations also extend their services to industries including:
- Plant & animal breeding
- Industrial technology
- Environmental science
- Forensic investigations
Companies in this field have an extensive understanding of the inner workings of DNA and biological functions, particularly how organisms interact and react to one another, how DNA structures form and develop in their early stages, and how these processes can be used to benefit humans.
Exploiting biological matter at a microscopic level may sound like the product of modern science, but humans have been using these methods for thousands of years — without really understanding what they were doing.
An example is the production of alcohol, in which yeast is added to barley and water to create beer. Let’s break down this method and examine the biological processes at each step.
- Water and barley are combined and mashed to create a sugary liquid called a ‘wort.’
Barley contains trace amounts of sugar, around 0.8g. When added to water and mashed together, the sugar is released to create a wort.
- Yeast is added to the mixture, which reacts with the sugars in the wort to create alcohol.
Yeast is a single-celled organism of the fungi family that eats sugar as they come into contact with it. The byproduct of this metabolic process creates waste products in the form of alcohol and carbon dioxide, both of which are required to make beer.
Currently, there is no known way to turn sugar into alcohol without using yeast.
- Hops, the flower of the Humulus lupulus plant, are then added to give the beer its primary taste. They also impart their antibacterial properties to the beer during the fermentation process.
Hops contain high concentrations of alpha and beta acids, which impede the growth of gram-positive bacteria. In this example, there are at least 3 notable biological processes taking place as a result of human interference. Another example is animal breeding, where subjects are selected based on desirable genetic traits to reproduce and pass the parental traits to their offspring.
These principles are what form the basis of biotechnology. Organisms are combined together, altered, or added to to encourage change that would otherwise not occur in the wild.
The byproducts of these processes, usually bacteria or enzymes, are generally what biotechnology companies are aiming to extract. These byproducts are then repurposed for use in medicine, plant food, pesticides, biofuel, etc.
What was the world’s first biotech company?
Genentech, founded in 1976, is considered the world’s first biotech company. In 1976, Boyer and venture capitalist Robert Swanson founded the world's first biotechnology company, Genentech, south of San Francisco.
The Genentech pioneer and Caltech collaborator were the first to synthesize his DNA in the lab. But they wanted to use E. coli as a factory to synthesize mammalian proteins. A proof of principle was provided earlier when Cohen and his colleagues at Stanford University used bacteria to create a working mouse cell protein. Scientists at Genentech eventually succeeded in producing a human hormone called somatostatin in bacteria, ushering in the era of commercial biotechnology. Insulin and growth hormone production soon followed.
The company has made major innovations in the world of biotechnology since its inception, most notably in 1977 after successfully producing the hormone somatostatin, and in 1982, with the successful synthesis of human insulin — known as Humulin.
What’s the world’s largest biotech company?
Johnson & Johnson, founded in 1885, is the world’s largest biotechnology company. Initially formed to develop and distribute ready-to-use sterile surgical supplies, wound dressings, household products and medical guides, the company has evolved into a multinational corporation, and one of the world’s most valuable companies.
What’s the difference between biotechnical and pharmaceutical?
Both biotechnical and pharmaceutical companies produce medicines. However, biotech (biotechnology) companies derive products from the extraction or manipulation of living organisms. Pharmaceutical companies manufacture medicines from chemicals and synthetic processes.
Learn about Biotech Company
Biotechnology companies, often referred to as biotechnology companies, use cellular and biomolecular processes to develop products and technologies that improve our lives and the health of our planet. Above are all you need to know about a biotech companies.
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