When it comes to medical progress and developing new cures for ailments, biotechnology is one of the most promising fields right now. Even though it is relatively new, biotech has already helped in the development of various medicinal areas. As for the future, most of the biotech’s progress is going to derive from personalized medicine advances.
This treatment paradigm’s target is to ensure patients receive the therapies best matched to their specific genetic makeups, conditions, and other health-related characteristics. For instance, pharmacogenomics, a new discipline, aims to figure out how the genetic profile of a patient affects their response to specific medicines. The main goal is to develop and refine testing so that patient genetic profiles are best matched to the medicine they will benefit from the most.
Along with the changes introduced by pharmacogenomics, biotechnology is transforming how diseases that are caused due to genetic factors are being diagnosed. Due to new testing, alterations in the genes’ DNA sequence relating to disease can be detected, and this helps with predicting the likelihood of a disease being developed within a patient. It goes without saying, but early diagnosis is essential for either early treatment to slow the diseases’ progress, or for preventing the disease altogether.
Biotechnology current emerging treatments
Along with the aforementioned points, biotechnology is helping other areas of the medical sector to grow. This is seen in current emerging treatments which are already gaining traction, and these will become standard procedures assuming they continue to grow in their development and prevalence.
Stem cells are where unspecialized cells, ones that haven’t developed a special function or structure yet, can mature into a functional type of cell. They can grow and match the characteristics of various other cells in the body, including skin, muscle, heart, and nerve cells.
Stem cells were first utilized in the 1960s where they were discovered within the bone marrow and then used for bone marrow transplants. Now, however, it’s possible to grow stem cells in a lab thanks to the growth of biotechnology. These healthy grown cells can be molded into the desired cell type, where they are then ready to be surgically implanted within patients to replace their diseased tissue.
In essence, gene therapy is where genes are used to prevent or treat disease. Biotechnology developments are hoping to see this gene therapy technique allow for disorders to be treated via the insertion of genes within the cells of a patient. Along with replacing the need for surgery or drugs, this approach sees new, functional genes replacing defective ones.
While gene therapy remains within the experimental stages, there are many startups that are ensuring this technique develops and plays an integral role in the future.
As the name suggests, nanomedicine takes molecules and structures and manipulates these on an atomic scale. An example of this is with the use of nanoshells. These take infrared light and convert it into heat energy, all with the intention of destroying cancer cells within patients.
Drug delivery systems
New drug delivery systems developed with biotechnology include microscopic particles – known as microspheres. These microspheres feature holes that are just big enough to dispense the contained drugs to their intended targets.
They have already proven to be an effective way to control drug release. As a result, certain microsphere therapies are already available and being used in medicine today. However, they are still being investigated for their ability and effectiveness in terms of being a treatment for various diseases and cancers.
For personalized medicine and pharmacogenomics to maximize their potential, DNA technology advances are essential. This is why companies like Anima Biotech, which use translation modulators to produce small molecule drugs that aim for “undruggable” targets in various diseases, are continually revolutionizing the industry.
Looking ahead to the future of Biotechnology
Thanks to pioneering developments in biotechnology innovation, medicine has undergone dramatic changes over the years. This has been helped by the various groundbreaking companies that are pushing the medical sector to new heights.
This is only going to be of benefit for millions of worldwide patients. All current and future developments promise to result in more individualized and effective healthcare.