Bioprocesses upstage traditional chemical processes

Palo Alto, Calif. -- March 9, 2004 Exciting advances in biotechnology are driving the increasing acceptance of biotech products in several industries, especially pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and chemicals. Bioprocesses sometimes eliminate conventional steps in chemical synthesis while enabling cost-effective manufacturing.

"The pace of bioprocess adoption in different industries will depend on the economic viability of the process and the influence of regulations," says Technical Insights Analyst Miriam Nagel. "Additionally, the difficulties associated with biotech adoption are likely to vary and concerns of one industry may not be significant for another industry."

For instance, intensity and high cost of R&D is expected to weigh down the development of biopharmaceutical drugs, whereas political uncertainties and public pressure for safe and sustainable development are critical factors in the chemicals industry.

Agriculture will be another key sector confronting two primary challenges -- public apprehension over genetic engineering processes and the subsequent enactment of complex regulations. These factors are likely to slow down the adoption of bioprocesses.

However, if the launch of blockbuster biopharmaceutical drugs for hepatitis, cancer, diabetes, and hemophilia, and the subsequent revenue surge for pharmaceutical companies in 2003, is any indication, more industries are likely to step up the deployment of bioprocesses.

"The elimination of several conventional steps used to synthesize vitamins and antibiotics has significantly reduced production cost and adverse impact on the environment, and this, in turn, is encouraging the acceptance of bioprocesses," says Nagel.

The gradual increase in adoption rate is distinctly evident from the development of biopolymers particularly biodegradable plastics derived entirely from renewable resources, and introduction of applications such as biodegradable cutlery and disp

Contact: Julia Paulson
Technical Insights

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