How are biological medicines manufactured?

Biotechnology medicines and therapies use proteins, enzymes, antibodies and other substances naturally produced in the human body to treat diseases, including genetic disorders.

Biotechnology also uses other living organisms - plant and animal cells, bacteria, viruses and yeasts – in the large-scale production of medicines for human use.

Biotechnology produces information that is used to alter and improve cell behavior. Many biotech companies specialize in finding ways to deliver and apply biotechnology information to cells to aid in identifying, preventing and treating disease. Representative applications include diagnostic tests that use biotechnology materials to detect the presence or risk of disease such as cancer, genetic diseases or pollution of a cell or material.

There are three primary areas in healthcare in which biotechnology is currently being used: medicines (also including advanced therapies such as cell and gene therapy), vaccines and diagnostics Biotechnology is offering new tools to doctors and patients to provide better diagnosis and more effective but less intrusive and uncomfortable testing for patients.

A familiar example of biotechnology's benefits is the new generation of home pregnancy tests that provide more accurate results much earlier than previous test-generations.