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BIOT5219 The Biotechnology Enterprise

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BIOT5219 The Biotechnology Enterprise

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Course Code: BIOT5219
University: Northeastern University

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Country: United States


Course Description/Objectives: The purpose of this course is to expose students to a broad spectrum of concepts and issues that are common to biotechnology companies. It will also provide an overview of financial background, innovation, intellectual property, planning, government regulation, and strategic alliances. Lastly, this course introduces biotech companies’ financial statements analysis, biotechnology entrepreneurship; management; and the legal aspects of science, technology, and research in the biotechnology context.
Learning Outcomes:
This course will enable you to:

Translate the science of a biotech company from science to the business side of biotechnology enterprise by applying management and business principles
Conduct a financial valuation of a public biotech company by analyzing its financial statements
Align the value of an intellectual property strategy with financial goals of the biotech enterprise
Evaluate the business opportunities and risks of starting a new biotech venture
Apply the principles of U.S. law and ethics to employee, investor and management of public companies
Analyze how government regulations impact a company’s business strategy for the biotech industry


Book Review
In fulfillment of the course requirements, the following is a review of the book “Managing Biotechnology: From Science to Market in the Digital Age by Francoise Simon and Glen Giovannetti.” Overall, the book elucidates on how different players in the health ecosystem can leverage medical data using science and embracing digital technology to come up with solutions to human problems. In the first part; the authors take us through the digital evolution of biotechnology, biotechnology financing strategies and lastly attaining success through collaboration. The second part of the book explores new business and marketing models, and the last part takes us through new models for digital health. The book gives us insight into the risks, opportunities, and challenges of the biotech industry.
In the first part of the book, the authors discuss how biotechnology has had an influence on various sectors from health, energy, food to agriculture among others. For example, in food and agriculture (green biotechnology), biotechnology has been used to invent food and feed varieties that have commercially valuable genetic characteristics as in the development of genetically modified soybeans and crops resistant to some herbicides and insects. (Uecke, 2012)
The book has also highlighted the developments in the area of biotechnology; for instance, the discovery of the structure of DNA by Watson and Crick’s in 1953 and draft of the human genome by Celera and the Human Genome Project in 2000 among many discoveries (Giovannetti, 2017). As much as there have been these developments, there have been emerging trends that have had an impact on the commercialization of biotechnology discoveries. For instance, with longer lifespans, there has arisen chronic diseases globally prompting manufacturers to produce drugs, but these are again faced with financial constraints from the payers.
Researchers are also faced with information overload from gadgets such as smartphones, biosensors, and others like genomic, clinic trials and insurer databases which they cannot handle. It results in non-linkage in the biopharma space. In addition to these, data generated from clinical trials should be submitted online and needs professional interpretation, but healthcare officers cannot do these for fear of liability and reimbursement issues.                                                                                                                                                                                         A major hurdle facing biotechnology is electronics such as desktops, tablets, and phones with low functionality; that is, most of them do not have apps on disease and treatment management as well as apps that do not connect patients to their healthcare professionals as well as healthcare system (Mohammad Bajwa, 2014). However, some companies such as WellDoc, AliveCor, Proteus Digital Health, and Dexcom among others have come up with applications that are approved, physician prescribed and payer reimbursed that leverage on biotechnology discoveries.
In the second part of the book, in the chapter on precision medicine which means the use of genetic technologies to determine if a particular patient is going to respond to a specific drug if administered at the right time (Woodcock, 2015); the authors aver that precision medicine is already being used in the treatment of certain cancers.  Biopharm firms can assist in overcoming challenges related to precision medicine by having new mindsets, adopting new digital technologies and involving themselves in collaborations with traditional healthcare stakeholders and new players. Precision medicine is not only advanced by biotechnology but also by patients, providers, and payers being enabled by new digital technologies and data sources. How do payers affect precision medicine? Governments and commercial agencies avail funds to target treatments to particular segments of society (CW, 2001) Depending on these funds, treatments start with the most cost-effective drugs before offering patients more expensive drugs. On the other hand, providers provide infrastructure and install systems to facilitate precision medicine; moreover, biotech information is used to lessen inappropriate medication use and unnecessary costs.
The book Managing Biotechnology prepares graduates for fascinating work in different laboratory settings, for example, analytical laboratories, bioresearch facilities, biotechnology goods, commercial, service production, and biotechnology goods. The book also prepares students to work in the agricultural sector, academic and government laboratories. Upon completion of the text, students will have acquired skills applicable to research and development, quality control and assurance work, pharmaceutical production, food production, environmental protection, and other biotechnology product manufacturing. The book Managing Biotechnologies helps equips the students with a solid foundation of the complex ethical, social, and political implications of the remarkable field of biotechnology. The students will therefore be able to make exciting and informed career choices.
In conclusion, the book is about scientific breakthroughs in the field of biotechnology brought about by digital technologies and how then biopharm firms can collaborate with stakeholders to deliver these innovations to the patient who needs up-to-date medical care. Further, the book also gives us the direction where biotechnology is headed.
Bubnov, I. A. (2017, March). Innovative payer engagement strategies:will the convergence lead to better value creation in personalized medicine? Springer EPMA Journal, 1.
CW, W. (2001). Capitalizing on New Needs and New Opportunities:Government-Industry Partnerships in Biotechnology and Information Technologies. Washington DC: National Academies Press.
Giovannetti, F. S. (2017). Managing Biotechnology: From Science to Market in the Digital Age. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
Mohammad Bajwa. (2014). Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 649-655.
Uecke, O. (2012). How to Commercialise Research in Biotechnology?:Effectiveness of the innovation Process and of Technology Transfer in the Biotechnology Sector. Bucher: Springer Science & Business Media.
Woodcock, J. (2015). Precision drug development. American Society for Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 23-25.

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