Top Biotechnology trends to watch out for in 2023

The biotechnology industry has shown exponential growth throughout recent years, with its research providing valuable insight used to enhance our medical treatments, agricultural practices and environmental solutions.

With a global market value of USD 859.94 billion, the industry is set to grow at a noteworthy CAGR of 8.7%, indicating that the market will almost double by 2030. Through continuous research and development in technologies, we’ve seen many exciting breakthroughs throughout the last year. From developments in CRISPR technology, artificial intelligence and revolutionary environmental solutions, we’ve pinpointed some of the most progressive biotechnology advancements that we can’t wait to see more of in 2023!

Personalised medicine

When highlighting the top biotech trends within healthcare, we’re instantly brought to the revolutionary movement of personalised medicine. Here, medical treatments are specifically tailored to the individual, abandoning the ‘one size fits all’ approach of traditional medical treatment.

Gene editing and sequencing developments have opened doors for personalised medicine. Through the analysis of genetics, healthcare professionals are able to identify medical risks in patients, and can use genetic sequencing to create tailored treatments.

This technology has allowed advancements in target therapies such as CART-cell therapy, which has shown promising results when used for cancer treatments. Last year we saw the FDA approval for Carvykti, the second therapy treatment approved for the later stages of blood cancer. We’ve also seen recent success in personalised therapies for diseases such as lupus, showing a promising and wider use of CAR-T cell therapy.

Alzheimer’s treatment

With 2022 came the success of Lecanemab, a new drug that’s instilled hope for those affected by Alzheimer’s. With nearly 50 million people worldwide diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (or related dementia), the disease has become an increasingly prominent concern, pushing research for a medical solution.

Lecanemab was officially approved by the FDA as an early Alzheimer's drug treatment in January 2023, following last year’s clinical trial success. The results showed a 27% decrease in memory and thinking deterioration in early stage Alzheimer’s; an encouraging solution to help maintain mental function and cognitive ability.

If approved in the UK, this will be the first drug approved for Alzheimer’s in almost 20 years! Following approval of the MHRA, we hope to see a roll out in the UK as soon as possible.

CRISPR technology

Last year highlighted significant developments with CRISPR-based therapies. The discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing tool brought a revolutionary wave of treatment development for genetic disorders such as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, thalassemia and hemochromatosis.

Potential candidates for CRISPR treatment also include those with blood disorders, blindness, AIDS, cystic fibrosis and more. With the ability to alter DNA sequences, cancer is another huge focus targeted by researchers, with current, ongoing trials focusing on the effectiveness of CRISPR base-editing techniques in CAR-T therapy. 

Following recent trial success in using CRISPR-Cas9 for the treatment of diseases such as sickle cell anemia and beta thalassemia, researchers are excited for a new era of transformative medicine. Given the success in trials so far, it’s possible that CRISPR-based medicine could be approved as soon as 2023.

Automation, AI and machine learning

Automation, AI and machine learning were major trends that we expect to see more of in 2023. There's been a shift in drug discovery practices, with market leading pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca, GSK and J&J making significant investments in machine learning and AI. Used to identify and validate new drug targets through the analysis of large data sets, AI is modernising the process, helping to reduce the discovery time and overall costs.

Digital transformation efforts within patient care has also provided an excellent solution to staff burnout within the sector, due to its high precision technology and the ability to process large amounts of data in a short time period. 2023 is likely to see further growth of digitalisation within healthcare, through increased use of online and remote assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients.

Following the success of last year, we expect to see a huge increase in large-scale utilization of AI algorithms in 2023!

Environmental biotechnology developments

Sustainable development and greener practices are a new focus for many industries, including biotechnology. Given the rise in global environmental concerns, the need to create a safer planet by reducing pollution and industrial waste and has been recognised worldwide. With this, came further developments in environmental biotechnology.

Within the industry, we’ve seen motivation to improve agricultural practices and fight soil pollution with the development of bioremediation. Here, genetically modified organisms have been created with the primary use to improve soil health, removing harmful materials and pollutants. Further research includes the creation of organisms used to break down plastics, a promising solution to the exponential amounts of waste produced every year.

Future advancements

Whether its improving our quality of life through enhanced medical treatments, or developing greener practices for a cleaner planet, the biotech industry will continue to provide promising solutions to better mankind. Given the encouraging research findings and developments from the last year, we’re excited to see what further advancements 2023 will bring!

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