Companies in this industry manufacture drugs, therapies, vaccines, genetically modified food and fuel, and other products based on genetically manipulated compounds. Major companies include US-based Amgen, Biogen Idec, Genentech (owned by Switzerland-based Roche), and Monsanto, as well as CSL (Australia), Merck KGaA (Germany), Novo Nordisk (Denmark), and the biotech research arms of major international pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi (France).
The global biotechnology industry includes about 4,700 companies with total revenue of about $120 billion. Top regions for biotechnology include the US and Canada, Australia, and Europe, according to Ernst & Young.
The US biotechnology product manufacturing industry includes about 2,400 companies with combined annual revenue of around $90 billion, according to Ernst & Young. Because many drugs are now developed using biotechnology, the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries overlap considerably. Pharmaceutical Manufacturing is covered in a separate industry report.
Demand for biotechnology in the fields of medicine, agriculture, food, and science is driven by insurers' willingness to pay for new medical treatments, the global need to produce more food for a rapidly expanding population, and scientists' desire to find solutions for complex scientific and medical issues. Funding for biotech research is often provided by venture capital funds hoping to cash in on new products. The profitability of individual companies depends on the discovery and effective marketing of new products. Because the market for potential products is so large, small biotechnology companies can co-exist successfully with large ones...