Biotech Industry Marking a New Era Post-COVID-19
The inevitable need for a COVID-19 treatment has stirred up much-needed interest in Biotech industries all over the world. Here a straightforward take on Biotech industries post-COVID-19.
It is pretty astonishing how perceptions change in a short period of time. There was a time when Biotech companies were the most admired industries in the world. They invented vaccines for diseases like smallpox to polio, to delivering drugs for life-altering heart diseases.
Things went downhill when people started anti-vaccine campaigns refusing simple, cheap drugs that could change human life drastically. Presidents of the United States talking down on the pharma sector to Hollywood movies showing scientists and experts to be potentially crazy and dangerous.
Today, at the recent wake of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, leaders, and experts are leaning on biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in hope of finding a solution for this current deadly virus. Ranging from diagnostic tests to treatments, the biotech sector along with the help of the government is the only way to neutralize this current pandemic. It is currently up to us humans to give the time and chance for these efforts to mature.
Getting priorities straight:
Not a lot of pandemics have occurred in a century till date. However, research is a necessity for all diseases be it pandemic or not. The biotechnology industry works around the clock in a desperate attempt to find treatments or vaccines. For instance, the outbreak of polio startled the world by killing almost 3000 children around the world. By late 1957, due to the combined efforts of WHO and pharma companies, a vaccine was developed, bringing down the number of cases drastically and eventually diminishing quickly around the globe.
Today, not many people around the world are aware of the concerns regarding infectious diseases. A major part of the lack of awareness is due to the lack of perceived need. Over the last few decades, investors have put in very few resources in regard to developing a treatment for infectious diseases.
Today, COVID-19 has abruptly pushed all focus onto the infectious disease. This will keep people aware and more prepared to prevent any such pandemics in the future. With the focus shifting to COVID-19, data from pre-existing trials regarding other diseases have come to an abrupt halt. As the trial recruitment come to a halt, the healthcare sector prioritizes COVID-19 patients.
New respect for biotech field:
Today when faced with this unexpected emergency, people are resorting to Pharma companies. COVID-19 unlike cancer or heart disease is a complex infectious disease with many factors yet to be discovered. People are desperate for some kind of solution even if not permanent depending on pharma companies to perform. This could potentially lead to a much needed fundamental change in the industry.
The profit motives and regulatory barriers are currently being sidelined by the industry, and companies are sharing intellectual property and researchers at a time like this. The impact of this novel COVID-19 will be bringing some clarity as to whether the medical field has advanced far enough to develop treatments or vaccines in lesser time than normal.
Communicable diseases once believed to be contained only to third world countries, is not true anymore due to travel and migration. This is a big opportunity for biotech companies all over the world to start working on communicable diseases seriously. The following factors can further predict and catalyze the growth of the biotech sector:
- The growing awareness of personal hygiene and health
- An increase in the demand for reagents and media.
- Increasing concerns about food safety demanding more testing kits for biopesticides remnants and others
- A growing need for customized medicine or precision medicine
- Increasing demand for diagnostic kits due to the increase in a variety of lifestyle diseases.
It can be concluded that the rate at which the biotech industry will change post-COVID will solely depend on its performance in the next few years. Right now, it is amazing to see how biotech companies of all sizes are selflessly working in order to contain and eradicate COVID-19. This is what makes biotech so powerful. COVID-19 has been a good eye-opener, highlighting the importance of biotechnology to society.
A career in biotechnology looks to be extremely promising post-COVID, and as a biotechnologist, it is important to satisfy self goals but also the research and innovation serving the country and above all humanity.