CBDMT Announces The Invisible Revolution: White Biotechnology

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From the first recombinant protein in the 70s, modern biotechnology and more particularly the industrial or white biotechnology is a real alternative technology for the development and the production of goods from renewable resources (in 2015 up to €300 billion in chemical product sales will be bioproduced). It will allow increasing energy and processing efficiency (cost-effectiveness, flexibility, cleanness, sustainability). So please think not only about pharmaceutical products when we are talking about the 'so trendy' biotechnology market. The invisible white biotechnology revolution is going on.

CBDMT - Biotech Consulting

The life science market is generally segmented in four segments: Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Diagnostics and Medical Devices. A common problem is the confusion between the biotechnology and pharmaceutical segments. Let us try to clarify a little bit the 'so trendy' biotechnology market. In fact, there are two kinds of biotechnology: the traditional and the modern biotechnologies. The traditional one is the fermentation mainly used in food and feed applications (Roquette, Danisco, Cargill, ADM…). The modern biotechnology comes from the discovery of recombinant DNA molecules (Stan Cohen and Herb Boyer in 1973), hybridoma technology (Cesar Milstein and Georges Kohler in 1974) and more particularly the development of molecular biology since then.Let us go from the first biotech company to the invisible revolution - the white or industrial biotechnology.

The first real modern biotechnology company: Genentech Inc.

Genentech Inc. was founded by Herbert Boyer and Robert Swanson in 1976. One year after that, Allan Maxam and Walter Gilbert co-founded Biogen Inc. The same year (1974) Genentech reported the expression of somatostatin, the first human protein produced by a bacterium. In 1980, the first IPO, Genentech went public October 14 at $35/share, raising $35 million. Within one day, the stock leaped to $89/share! The same year Amgen Inc. was founded. One year later, in 1981 Cal Tech invented an automated gene-sequencing machine that can read 7,000 DNA building blocks a day.

In 1982, Eli Lilly got the FDA approval to sell the first genetically engineered drug, human insulin cloned by Genentech in 1978. Ten years later, Lilly's Humulin had sales of $702 million. Then, there was the approval of the first biotech industry product, the recombinant human growth hormone (1985), followed by alpha interferon for cancer treatment and the first genetically engineered vaccine for hepatitis B treatment (1986). In 1994, Calgene received approval to sell its FLAVR SAVER genetically engineered tomato (first GMO food).

Today, the global biotechnology market is still young but currently with a value of more than $150 billion and an expected growth of about 10 to 15% per annum. In 2007, Genentech announced financial results for the full year with $11.7 billion total revenue. Genentech is the second most important biotech company behind the leader Amgen with more than $14.7 billion revenue in 2007.

The biotechnology market is more and more commonly segmented by using colors to segment biotechnology application: -red- for healthcare biotech, -green- for agricultural biotech, -white- for industrial biotech, -blue- for marine biotech, -gold- for bioinformatic- and nanobiotech etc...

The original market and certainly the most well-known is the' red biotech' segment which includes medicines and diagnostics (Top 10 red biotech companies: Amgen, Genentech, Serono, Biogen, Genzyme, Chiron, Gilead Sciences, CSL, MedImmune, Cephalon). So typically, the red biotech is focused on providing patients with innovative treatments or diagnostics. This segment includes companies working on cells and tissues, stem cells, gene therapy, orphan drugs, proteomics, pharmacogenetics, genetic testing etc...

Red biotechnology: What else? …White biotech for sure.

When we use the very fashionable "Bioproduction" word, we generally have in mind pharmaceutical recombinant proteins or biopharmaceutical products. This biopharmaceutical market is composed of four segments: therapeutic proteins extracted from biologics, recombinant therapeutic proteins, cell therapy and gene therapy.
This is a huge market estimated to be worth $40 billion in 2004 and expected to be more than $100 billion by 2010. As the red biotech or the pharmaceutical biotechnology 'phagocytes' the biotechnology industry, there is important information to keep in mind: the white biotechnology or the industrial biotechnology or gene-based bioindustry also serves other market segments such as detergent, food, feed, cosmetics, R&D etc.

The complete article is available on LifeScience Online

Philippe Tramoy is Managing Partner at CBDM.T® (CBDMT - Market & Business Intelligence) and can be contacted at contact@cbdmt.com

CBDM.T® is a market and business intelligence company with offices in France and in Israel.
As an advisory services company, CBDM.T® assists companies to develop revenue and growth by providing business and marketing services in life science and biotech markets (market survey, market scouting, business development and strategic supports).
See also: CBDMT - Market & Business Inteligence

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