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Rapid global expansion of Life Sciences, Biotech and health care industry is creating new risks

In general, biotechnology is the utilization of biological procedures for industrial and other purposes, specifically, the genetic management and the manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotic drugs, hormones, and medical devices.


The life sciences and healthcare industry as the name suggests is an amalgamation of industries like hospital management, Pharmaceuticals, Health insurance companies, Donors, Manufacturer of Medical equipments etc. This industry is supported with great professionals like the doctors, therapists, psychologists, biotechnologist, nurses, midwives etc. The main purpose of this industry is to provide the best possible treatment, curing of the patients, health related benefits like death claim, life insurance policies.


The industry is on the path of rapid global expan rapid global expansion sion. As per Persistence Market Research, the global life science products market was estimated to be valued at more than US$ 2,500 Mn in 2015 and is projected to grow to approximately US$ 4,200 Mn by 2024 end. This represents a CAGR of 4.3% over the forecast period. The global market for life science products represents absolute $ opportunity of nearly US$ 120 Mn in 2017 over 2016 and incremental opportunity of approximately US$ 1,500 Mn between 2016 and 2024.


There has been a shift in investments in R&D and technology, especially in the life sciences domain, from North America and Europe to Asia Pacific. Developing economies such as India have ample skilled labor and qualified manpower at affordable costs thereby increasing the scope for attracting outsourcing of biotech projects. Additionally, several governments in the Asia Pacific region have started taking initiatives to support growth of the domestic biotechnology industry by offering tax exemptions on R&D initiatives; increasing budgets and funding, creating public and private conglomerates; and attracting foreign direct investments.


Health life sciences” refers to the application of biology and technology to improve health care, and includes biopharmaceuticals, medical technology, genomics, diagnostics and digital health. The sector generates a wide range of products including drugs, medical technology, diagnostics and digital tools. Average life expectancy in OECD countries has increased by 5.5 years from 75 in 1990 to 80.5 years in 2015.


The biotech industry continues to churn out life-saving drugs while investors shower them with billions of dollars. The global biotech market is estimated to be worth $414.5 billion by the end of 2017. It’s not only about improving the health of people but meeting the rising demand in food in some of the populous nations like India and China that biotech has helped to achieve.


The industry is also facing new challenges: Populations are aging, Chronic illnesses are increasing, New disease strains are emerging at an alarming rate. Add to this mix, the soaring number of patients in a greater spread of geographies.  As per the 2011 national census , in India 68.86% people residing in rural areas still don’t have access to quality healthcare. This population pool is devoid of sufficient ambulatory, clinical, and hospital care facilities.


The Life Sciences industry is undergoing a major transformation. A large part of this is fuelled by the integration of digital and ICT technologies. This transition has opened up new opportunities for development, but also comes with its own challenges. Technology is playing a massive role in enabling the industry, be it analytics in personalized medicine, cloud computing in collaboration, or wearable devices in remote and self-health monitoring. Report predicted that in 2030, technology companies will be key players and provide crucial input by leveraging new technologies such as AI, cloud-based platforms, machine learning, cognitive technology and wearables.


To keep pace with a rapidly changing technology landscape, organization,would need to develop a deeper integration, collaboration, and synchronization of activities across all channels.

Market growth

According to a new research published by Polaris Market Research the global biotechnology market is anticipated to reach over USD 795.7 billion by 2026. The rise of certain key subjects in the biotechnology market is expected to drive development in this industry to a lucrative degree. In general, biotechnology is the utilization of biological procedures for industrial and other purposes, specifically, the genetic management and the manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotic drugs, hormones, and medical devices.


The biotechnology market is receiving global growth owing to advancement in technology in biology segment and the increasing use of artificial intelligence which is expected majorly to boost the global market significantly. The key players are putting continuous efforts and investments in order to understand, diagnose and treat cancer and recommend appropriate clinical trials.


Favorable government policies associated with synthetic biology is a major growth impacting driver in this sector. Developed economies such as U.S., Germany, and UK are funding and monitoring synthetic biology R&D initiatives. The optimization of sequencers and their software, as well as the participation of governments and collaborations between key companies and medical specialists, will be of utmost importance for the success of DNA-sequencing technology. Increase in demand for healthier therapeutics and symptomatic arrangements on standards of red biotechnology, DNA sequencing, and recombinant innovation is expected to fuel the market development.


Key Findings from the study suggest Asia Pacific market is anticipated to develop at lucrative pace because of changing medicinal services framework in this region that drives the demand for biotechnological items. Decreasing expenses and ascend in a number of services in this market are presumed upon to drive the segments with lucrative opportunities. Owing to innovative headways and boundless utilization of this field in different parts of human services, the health segment is projected to display solid advancements in coming years. Introduction of technically propelled items and availability of different biotechnology-based projects are attributive to drive the development of this sector over the forecast period. Continuous introduction of new biotechnological items for human services that are engaged in diagnosis conclusion and biopharmaceutical improvement is evaluated to push the market. Advancements in information reconciliation devices through distributed computing platform encourage enormous cutting-edge sequencing information.



Developing a new product or altering an existing one through biotechnologies encounters various difficulties. Designing and successfully getting out the desired product in laboratory level is the first level of accomplishment. Next is to produce the product in pilot scale and to analyze statistical study on the industrial framework. On successful yielding and fabrication of the bio-modified product and their aimed application depends on, forecasting and governing the challenges of biotechnology marketing.


High Levels of Risk

Biotech companies normally get patent protection for their products, giving them market lead time while they recover their expenses for research and development. Once the patent protection period expires, they have a more established market position than their competitors. This offers scope for massive rewards. However, investors need to weigh the potential for humongous returns that these firms offer against massive risks, which are in abundance. Firstly, there is a lengthy period of development when money is invested in R&D, with the only hope that they will launch a successful product. The expenses to develop a drug, for instance, could go as high as a billion dollars. And biotech companies have to get approval for their drugs from the FDA so that they can sell it in the market, which is an onerous and lengthy process.


Data security: Core to the effectiveness of R&D are data integrity, confidentiality and reliability. Personalized medicine means that the medicine is specific for an individual and that the data for that medicine must be specific to an individual patient. Any changes to the integrity of that data will mean that treatments and medicines will be incorrectly made and directly impact patients’ health and wellbeing.


The security required to protect patient data, along with the technology that identifies and produces medicine must be robust to protect companies against attack from malware. Many pharmaceutical companies are building sophisticated security covering technology, process and people, and incorporating AI as part of their defenses.


Regulations that balance safety and integrity with innovation.

Regulations that are too rigid will inhibit innovation, although personal safety must always be secured. The regulations differ widely in the clinical setting compared to the basic research laboratory. This will be challenging when the two environments  become more intertwined, especially if the time between an invention and patient benefit from a new therapy is to decrease. The new data protection rules in the EU will also present new challenges for research involving personal health data. There is no simple solution to these challenges, but they will certainly influence the speed with which we approach the future scenarios of health and medicine outlined in this report.


US Report: China’s Biotech Industry Poses Threat to US National Security

Clinical and genetic data of U.S. citizens obtained by Chinese biotechnology companies through their partnerships with U.S. institutions could pose national security risks, according to a newly published congressional report.


The risks stem from the “dual use of biotechnology information,” the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) said in a report published Feb. 14. For instance, genetic and medical analyses used in the biotech industry to develop tailored treatments for patients “could be used for malicious purposes in the hands of a foreign state government, such as China.”


In a hypothetical situation, foreign states such as China could possibly blackmail individuals with the threat of exposing their embarrassing medical information, according to the report. In another situation, the foreign state could use information on health conditions, such as allergies, to conduct a targeted attack against diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials, or military leaders, to “induce an allergic reaction or fatal injury.”


Much like health records, genetic data could also be exploited as research about the links between genetic traits and personality traits becomes more advanced in the future. For instance, foreign intelligence officials, knowing in advance which individuals have genetic markers such as loyalty and susceptibility to flattery, would be able to know how to exploit or blackmail those persons.


China’s biotech industry has grown rapidly in the last decade, according to the report, with the market now estimated at 30 billion to 40 billion yuan ($4.7 billion to $6.2 billion), compared to the U.S. biotech market at $118 billion.


One example of China getting its hands on U.S. data is highlighted in the report: via BGI Group, a private genome sequencing center based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, with subsidiaries including BGI Genomics, which is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, and a research institute. “By collecting data across many efforts [partnerships with U.S. entities], BGI may be amassing a database of genomic and healthcare data on US persons that is greater than that achieved through any single research endeavor,” the report stated. While BGI is a private company, the company has definite ties to the Chinese Communist Party.







About Rajesh Uppal

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