Companies in this industry manufacture drugs, therapies, vaccines, and other products based on genetically manipulated compounds. Major companies include US-based Amgen, Biogen, Genentech (owned by Switzerland-based Roche), Gilead Sciences, 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).
Demand for biotechnology products 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 if they have expertise in a particular line of research. The US industry is highly concentrated: the largest 20 companies account for more than 80% of revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Biotechnology is used to produce drugs, therapies, vaccines, and medical diagnostic tests. Medicines primarily target cancers, neurology, and infectious disease, as well as autoimmune, metabolic, respiratory, and cardiovascular ailments and rare genetic diseases. Biotech is also used to produce genetically modified (GM) plants and crops; DNA fingerprinting; environmental products that aid in the clean-up of hazardous waste; and industrial applications...