History of Biotechnology - Biotechnology and Industry

Biotechnology and Industry

With ancestral roots in industrial microbiology that date back centuries, the new biotechnology industry grew rapidly beginning in the mid-1970s. Each new scientific advance became a media event designed to capture investment confidence and public support. Although market expectations and social benefits of new products were frequently overstated, many people were prepared to see genetic engineering as the next great advance in technological progress. By the 1980s, biotechnology characterized a nascent real industry, providing titles for emerging trade organizations such as the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO).

The main focus of attention after insulin were the potential profit makers in the pharmaceutical industry: human growth hormone and what promised to be a miraculous cure for viral diseases, interferon. Cancer was a central target in the 1970s because increasingly the disease was linked to viruses. By 1980, a new company, Biogen, had produced interferon through recombinant DNA. The emergence of interferon and the possibility of curing cancer raised money in the community for research and increased the enthusiasm of an otherwise uncertain and tentative society. Moreover, to the 1970s plight of cancer was added AIDS in the 1980s, offering an enormous potential market for a successful therapy, and more immediately, a market for diagnostic tests based on monoclonal antibodies. By 1988, only five proteins from genetically engineered cells had been approved as drugs by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA): synthetic insulin, human growth hormone, hepatitis B vaccine, alpha-interferon, and tissue plasminogen activator (TPa), for lysis of blood clots. By the end of the 1990s, however, 125 more genetically engineered drugs would be approved.

Genetic engineering also reached the agricultural front as well. There was tremendous progress since the market introduction of the genetically engineered Flavr Savr tomato in 1994. Ernst and Young reported that in 1998, 30% of the U.S. soybean crop was expected to be from genetically engineered seeds. In 1998, about 30% of the US cotton and corn crops were also expected to be products of genetic engineering.

Genetic engineering in biotechnology stimulated hopes for both therapeutic proteins, drugs and biological organisms themselves, such as seeds, pesticides, engineered yeasts, and modified human cells for treating genetic diseases. From the perspective of its commercial promoters, scientific breakthroughs, industrial commitment, and official support were finally coming together, and biotechnology became a normal part of business. No longer were the proponents for the economic and technological significance of biotechnology the iconoclasts. Their message had finally become accepted and incorporated into the policies of governments and industry.

Read more about this topic:  History Of Biotechnology

Other articles related to "biotechnology, industry":

Arjula Ramachandra Reddy
... biologist whose research work in the field of genetics and plant biotechnology is recognized worldwide ... the Review Committee on Genetic manipulation of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology, India Science Panel member, the Department for ...
Biotechnology Industry In The People's Republic Of China - References
... Biotechnology Industry in China OECD Chinese biotechnology industry An Emerging Biotech Giant? Growth In China's Biotech Industry Recommendations for biotech development in China Five Year Forecasts for the ...
Cambridge University Department Of Chemical Engineering And Biotechnology - Institute of Biotechnology
... expansion of the science platform upon which biotechnology innovations are based ... Institute of Biotechnology is separated from the main department's building, and it is currently located at Tennis Court Road ... Institute of Biotechnology's aims are 1- To conduct research in selected areas of biotechnology ...
Sanofi-aventis International Bio GENEius Challenge
... competition for high school students that recognizes original research in biotechnology ... Held each year at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) convention and organized by the Biotechnology Institute, it is the most prestigious high school science competition for biotechnology ...
Biotechnology - Applications - Education
... Sciences (National Institutes of Health) (NIGMS) instituted a funding mechanism for biotechnology training ... Universities nationwide compete for these funds to establish Biotechnology Training Programs (BTPs) ... Biotechnology training is also offered at the undergraduate level and in community colleges ...

Famous quotes containing the word industry:

    As our boys and men are all expecting to be Presidents, so our girls and women must all hold themselves in readiness to preside in the White House; and in no city in the world can honest industry be more at a discount than in this capital of the government of the people.
    Jane Grey Swisshelm (1815–1884)