Industry Trends Insights & Trends

Keeping up with Biotech: an Ongoing Evolution


To be effective at any job takes a considerable amount of preparation, study, and skill. When it comes to biotech sales jobs, that could be an understatement.

Smart sales reps know that it’s not enough to simply sell a biotech product anymore — continually educating themselves is the only tangible way to keep up with the rapidly-changing landscape. Whether it’s a deeper understanding of the advanced products they sell and advertise, or researching trends and staying up-to-date on the very latest data available in the biotechnology field, keeping pace is an excellent way to become a trusted source of information and ideally, an effective salesperson.

Similarly, being able to discern specific data and predict where the industry is headed will make your biotech sales job much more valuable.

So what does biotechnology look like on the horizon and through 2017? There have been plenty of recent advancements that are leading to new discoveries.

Read on to learn what the experts are saying:    


This new discipline combines pharmacology (the science of drugs) and genomics (the study of genes and their functions) and seeks to determine how a patient’s genetic profile affects his or her responses to particular medicines. While many drugs are essentially “one size fits all,” many unfortunately don’t work the same way for everyone.

The ultimate goal of Pharmacogenomics is to develop tests that will predict which particular patient genetic profiles will benefit most from a given medicine, a model that is sometimes called personalized medicine, according to Amgen.

The company claims that advances made in DNA technology are the keys to personalized medicine. Developments like these promise to result in more effective, individualized healthcare, as well as help to further the gains already made in preventive medicine.


Immuno-oncology is a unique treatment method in which the body’s immune system is used to fight cancer. This approach targets healthy cells exclusively and makes them stronger. The idea is that the cells will become powerful enough to overtake dangerous cancer cells, in a sense, “starving” them of nutrients and stopping them from growing.

With traditional radiation treatment and chemotherapy methods, the intent is to target cancerous cells. However, good, healthy cells are collateral damage and also die in the process, ultimately weakening a patient’s immune system.

“Immuno-oncology has exploded because there’s been some success,” said spokesman John Bonfiglio of TapImmune in a recent Investing News Network story, pointing to the rising sales of the drugs Herceptin and Perjeta. Medications like these essentially re-teach healthy cells to attack cancerous ones, allowing the body to fight the disease in a more natural way.

Immuno-oncology also represents a new paradigm of sorts for cancer treatment, and combination therapies are growing in popularity because they are effective. Bonfiglio also mentioned that single treatment methods are probably a thing of the past: “Everyone realizes that no one drug is going to be the panacea for cancer. Instead, cancer is going to be fought with a combination of different therapies that do different things.”

Alzheimer’s Advancements

With one recent analysis estimating that Alzheimer’s will account for one-fourth of Medicare spending in 2040, the U.S. will have a challenging time funding the astronomical costs associated with the disease in the coming years. Similarly, the pharmaceutical industry has had no effective response yet, according to Forbes.   

While billions of dollars have been invested in drugs that are supposed to help remove the buildup of proteins thought to gum up memory and cognition as we age, there have been a few encouraging signs of support for alternative approaches.

For example, San Francisco-based Annexon Biosciences, raised $44 million to build on research that suggests that effective treatment for Alzheimer’s could include preventing the immune system from removing synapses in the brain that are needed for neuronal function.

Also, a recent study conducted by EIP Pharma revealed promising news: cognition and memory were improved in a set of patients with mild Alzheimer’s symptoms after taking an old anti-inflammatory drug.

Other Emerging Biotechnologies

Gene therapy: while still in experimental stages, gene therapy involves inserting new, functional genes into the cells of patients to replace damaged or defective ones. This type of treatment has grown greatly since the first clinical trial, nearly 30 years ago.

Stem cells: the goal of stem cell therapy is to replace dead tissue with new, healthy tissue. Grown in a lab, stem cells are unspecialized cells that mature into different types of functional cells that are then surgically implanted into patients. 

Nanomedicine: Nanomedicine aims to manipulate individual molecules and structures on an atomic level. An example of this is nanoshells, or metallic lenses, which change infrared light into heat energy, destroying the cancer cells.

Synthetic Biology: is the design and construction of entirely new biological entities such as enzymes, genetic circuits, and cells or the redesign of existing biological systems by manipulating or isolating particular components.

The truth is plain to see: there’s never a dull moment when it comes to the science of biotechnology. It’s a world of constant flux, rapidly evolving with every single advancement and is challenging, no doubt.

It’s also quite exciting and can be very rewarding for anyone involved. Sales reps that are fortunate enough to have biotech sales jobs are quite aware of this fact, which is just one of the ways that make a job in biotechnology very attractive.

Additionally, the industry’s best sales reps excel in their career field because they keep up with the biotechnology industry and are able to anticipate where the field is headed next. Are you ready to challenge yourself and make your mark in biotech? Get started today!