Pharma VS Biotech
Pharma VS Biotech
While conducting a recent interview, our Internal Recruiter, David Wells was asked a great question by an inquisitive Graduate;
'what exactly is the difference between Pharma and Biotech companies?'.
A great, simple question which we thought deserved a detailed explanation.
It’s important to point out that the chief difference is in the approach that each uses to develop their respective drugs.
Pharma companies typically have the marketing and economical power to bring a pipeline to fruition *and* engage the sales and marketing forces to then commercialize a product.
Biotech companies are typically developing large molecule drugs and have novel intellectual property or some new technology that make for an attractive pipeline to develop into a commercially viable product, but usually not the scale in sales and marketing to make this happen.
Biotechs use “biotechnology” to manufacture drugs, which involves the manipulation of microorganisms (such as bacteria) or biological substances (like enzymes) to perform a specific process. Biotech drug-makers essentially use those microorganisms or highly complex proteins from genetically-modified living cells as components in medications to treat various diseases and conditions, from cancer to rheumatoid arthritis to multiple sclerosis.
Pharmas rely on a chemical-based synthetic process to develop small-molecule drugs.
Depending on their size and strategy, pharmaceutical companies may conduct extensive research in-house or they may seek to license promising drugs from academia, other pharmaceuticals, or biotechnology companies. The latter firms are generally smaller than their Big Pharma competitors, and they employ cellular and bi-molecular processes to make medicines or diagnose illness.
Those who choose to work in these buoyant and lucrative industries enjoy the very real satisfaction of knowing that they are working to produce drugs that could make a radical difference in the lives of thousands, even millions, of people, and the need for these talented, qualified individuals is greater than ever before.