Biotech companies make products that are beneficial to humans, such as medicines and therapies that can save lives, increase yields in agriculture, and produce eco-friendly chemicals and fuels. It also encompasses bioinformatics, which involves the study of biological information and processes and can be applied to various industries.

Biotech’s beginnings date back to the 1970s in the beginning, when recombinant DNA technology (genetic engineering) was developed and patented. This technique lets scientists splice genes into production cells that then begin to produce important protein molecules.

Today, most pharmaceutical companies have active target discovery research programs that heavily rely on biotechnology. The industry also includes small upstarts that employ unique proprietary techniques to develop therapeutic drugs.

Companies focusing on agrobiology, cosmetics, environmental food technology, nutraceuticals and industrial biotechnology, as well veterinary medicine, are seeking other biotechnology-related applications. Fully integrated Pharma companies are massive commercial enterprises that research create, manufacture and sell generic or brand-name medicines.

Many new technologies are transforming the biotech industry, allowing for companies to test their products with respect to conditions that are known mechanisms (such as sickle cell disease) and reach much larger patient populations. Certain companies are working to come up with new therapies for conditions that haven’t been addressed, such as Duchenne muscle dystrophy.