Every day, we see the world constantly changing. Whether it’s advancements in technology, culture, arts, or sciences, there are many things to look forward over the horizon.
One of the industries continuously experiencing breakthroughs are the life sciences. The life sciences have always been an industry dedicated to the protection and improvement of human, animal, and natural life. Before we delve into the newest discoveries in the life sciences, let us first define what it is.
What is the Life Sciences Industry?
The life sciences industry is the umbrella term for companies, businesses, and research institutions dedicated to improving organism life. The various branches of life sciences industry may include pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, environmental sciences, biomedicine, nutraceuticals, neuroscience, cell biology, biophysics, and many others.
Any aspect of science that has something to do with the research and improvement of human, plant and animal life can be defined as a subcategory of the life sciences industry. In terms of human health, this industry is essential in understanding the nature of diseases. We also benefit from environmental science as this subcategory helps preserve our environment. Pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals deal with the research and creation of ailment-fighting medicines and supplements.
Top Trends in the Life Sciences Industry
Personalized medicine through advancements in genetics.
As the research body in the life sciences industry become increasingly expansive, many experts discover that some conditions are inherited through genetic coding. This implies that healthcare can be more customized based on DNA information or other genome features. This ushers a new era of personalized medicines and healthcare procedures.
Collaborative innovation of various life sciences companies.
Life sciences industry is continuously developing thanks to its collaborative nature. In 2020, we can expect biotech companies to join forces with other related health sciences organization to push the boundaries for development. An example of this happened in May of 2019, when four companies namely Arzeda, Twist Bioscience, Labcyte and TeselaGen have partnered to create a state-of-the-art assembly platform for the DNA.
The purpose of doing this is to create food items such as sweeteners and other industrial needs. This will hopefully reduce the need for harvesting or mining supplies as DNA will be constructed in laboratories.
Advancement of drug research.
Another rising trend is the improvement of drug research. Smart technology allows the possibility of improving assessment and treatment of patients using medication.
Some of the mechanisms that will improve are the integration of assessment devices such as MRI scans, laboratory equipment, and in-patient monitors and management tools. Doctors will be able to combine the data needed to prescribe the right medication for the patient. This provides accuracy and adherence to the objective information provider by the assessment tools rather than subjective reports.
Increased volume of life sciences research.
Many researchers now have focused on various branches of life sciences industry such as immunotherapy, precision surgery, and genetics.
In the field of precision surgery, there is a rise on studies connecting robotics to improve surgical methods. Surgeons can now take advantage of artificial intelligence tools to perform accurate procedures on their patients. Artificial intelligence also provides insight for doctors regarding the course of treatment.
Increased digitalized assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients.
Digital transformation of businesses has been around for years. This has paved a way for better access for consumers and improved marketing strategies for companies. In 2020, there will also be an increase of digitalization in the life sciences industry through online assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients.
Many doctors and healthcare professionals are now accredited to continue their practice virtually. Some general practitioners can prescribe medications online through a database website such as LiveHealth Online or Teladoc. Telepractice is a growing trend in the area of life sciences.
Value-based pricing of products.
This rising trend is good news for consumers, as more laws are being passed to drive down the prices of products especially in the pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries.
More companies are investing in showing actual demonstrations of drug effectiveness so that consumers can see the real value of the product. This can help drive down the cost of medications while providing evidence-based information for key stakeholders.
Data management and integration.
On the early stages of data management, it was difficult for data analysts to gather, organize, and interpret information which are pertinent for life sciences research and system operations. The innovation of cloud management will enable data management professionals to easily collect and interpret information for improved life science practices.
Improvement of drug approval timelines.
Much-needed medications are being held stagnant due to the long process of drug approvals in FDA. However, advances in technology will the government bodies to improve the speed of drug testing and holding controlled trials for candidate patients.
An example of this is the Real-Time Oncology Review (RTOR) pilot, which is aimed to accelerate the drug approvals related to cancer treatment.
Incorporation of genetics in treatment.
There will also be an increase of integrating genetical information in the assessment and treatment of disorders. Additionally, gene technology will enable researchers to identify genome sequences that predict disorders in humans and animals.
At present, there are experiments in the area of gene editing that could potentially prevent diseases and other conditions that can be inherited from the mother to the child. These types of studies will continue to rise as more conditions are discovered to be genetic in nature.
Heightened focus on immune cell function.
Immunity is one interesting aspect of the life sciences. It could prevent the spreading of harmful diseases which could bring about a devastating epidemic especially in developing regions.
Now, there is an increased focus on immune cell function. Researchers are interested on certain mechanisms of cells which are immune to certain types of viruses and bacteria. These studies will bring about profound implications in the field of immunotherapy. Recent studies show that immune cells get most of their characteristics through their mitochondria.
These are just some of the recent breakthroughs in the life sciences industry, and there is more to come as countries like United States have increased funding in research areas of science, technology and healthcare.
The changes brought about by these innovations remind us that the life sciences industry is a vital part of our society. We must do our best to push its frontiers forward for the sake of our welfare and the generations to come.
Important Stats in the Life Sciences Industry
The total spending on medicine is $428 billion dollars.
This proves how necessary the pharmaceutical industry is in the improvement of human health. There must be policies provided help drive down the cost of medicines while improving its effectiveness.
The nutraceutical industry is a large subcategory of the life sciences that still clamors for more scientific evidence.
Natural supplements appear on every corner, and yet evidence-based performance to back up their claims are still lacking. Thus, the nutraceutical industries need more dedicated professionals who are willing to improve their research body.
There is also an increased need for public awareness and innovation in the environmental sciences sector.
Environmental issues remain one of the biggest problems in our world today. 14 billion pounds of garbage is dumped into the world’s ocean every year, and landfills are one of the major causes of soil pollution. The environmental sciences industry needs to increase its output to improve public awareness and innovations to put a stop to these problems.
There are still uncharted territories in marine biology.
The technology in deep-sea diving made it possible for us to discover marine life like never before. However, there is still a lot of to uncovered under the vast oceans about other undiscovered marine life.
1 in 6 global deaths are caused by cancer.
Cancer is a pervasive disease that affects 16% of people worldwide. Advancements in the life sciences industry allowed people to take preventative measures such as treatments, lifestyle choices, and immunizations.
The modern biotechnology industry was started by Genentech.
Genentech, now a part of Roche, started the modern biotechnology industry in 1976. The most notable breakthrough was in 1978 when they were successfully able to extract human gene in bacteria, which allowed them to genetically engineer human insulin.
Life sciences industries impact economy and job growth.
The innovation in the life sciences is never-ending. Governing bodies who focus on the development in the life sciences sector have seen an improvement in their economy and job growth. For example, the state of Florida supports 83,000 and counting under the life sciences industry.
The top pharmaceutical companies in the US are located in New Jersey and Connecticut.
The leading pharmaceutical companies found in the top 10 ranks are Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Pfizer’s headquarters is located in Groton, Connecticut while Johnson & Johnson is based in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Investors should be wary of fraudulent biotech startups.
One lesson to be learned is that from Theranos. Elizabeth Holmes, being the CEO of the company is now facing fraud charges for the failed partnerships between other bigger companies. This is a lesson learned for investors to know about the history of biotech companies and how effective are their products.
Neurological disorders account for 10% of deaths worldwide.
Another essential facet of the life sciences industry is neuroscience. As 10% of worldwide deaths are caused by a neurological condition, breakthroughs such as brain mapping will be helpful in improved treatment outcomes.