Science is something that most people learn at school and that many find fascinating. Higher secondary students use special calculator tools and keen astronomers buy telescopes. Science has many applications in our everyday lives and it has become a vital part of global business.
Interestingly, the life sciences industry has been on the rise for decades. With millions of people affected by diseases such as Covid-19, it’s no wonder why this sector is booming with innovation and investment opportunities. If you are keen on this industry, read on because this article discusses 6 things you should know about it.
1. Its Basic Scope
The life sciences industry relates to all life science companies, products and services. It’s a broad field that includes everything from pharmaceutical research and development firms to medical device manufacturers.
The life sciences industry covers any company involved in health care or therapeutic end markets. This means biotech, pharma, medtech or scientific tools & instruments.
2. The Subcategories
This includes big-name brands like Pfizer Inc., Amgen Inc., GlaxoSmithKline PLC as well as many smaller names.
These are companies like Gilead Sciences Inc., Celgene Corp, Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Biogen Idec. They specialize in developing therapies based on biomolecules such as proteins. They are used to treat life-threatening diseases such as cancer or autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
Medical devices and equipment
This means everything used for diagnosis, monitoring treatment or even surgery. Some examples include Intuitive Surgical Inc., Medtronic plc, Stryker Corporation and Boston Scientific Ltd. It also specializes in products for minimally invasive surgery, such as robotics and image-guided systems.
3. The Specialist Websites
The life science industry has a number of specialist magazines and trade publications that have been created for those working in this sector. There are also a number of specialist websites that discuss the life sciences and related news, events, jobs and opportunities. There are many life science blogs that have been written by experts in the field, including industry professionals and academics. A few examples include Biotech Blogger, Genengnews and BioPharm Insight.
You can be as specific as you like when making Google searches about this industry. If you’re interested in finding a protein expression and purification service you can learn about things like recombinant protein expression. You can also discover more about multiple microbial platform hosts for protein expression, or read FAQs on things like e.coli expression systems and the major advantage of using trichoderma as an expression host.
4. Individual Company’s Life Cycles
Every life science company goes through its own life cycle which can be broken into four different stages:
- Stage I & Stage II – the pre-revenue and low revenue stage, where you’ll see a lot of research and development money being spent. This is typically when your technology or product development occurs before any real returns materialize. This phase makes up about 90% of life sciences companies. Investors begin to take note at the stage when medical breakthroughs begin to happen.
- Stage III – there are points where getting to the market becomes costly, and at this point, growth starts to taper off. This is the life cycle of many smaller life science companies. This is because it’s not until they reach Stage III that larger firms begin picking them up for their drugs or products.
- Stage IV – here you see life sciences companies (both large and small) who continue with strong sales growth. They are typically life-altering cures (like treatments for rare diseases) where there isn’t any competition.
5. Study And Qualifications
There are so many different career opportunities that there are a huge range of degrees and courses available. For instance:
Bachelor Of Science (with Honours) In Biological Science
This degree focuses on biological science with chemistry as well. It also includes practical classes where students learn information about plants, animals, and human bodies.
Bachelor Of Science (with Honours) In Biochemistry And Molecular Biology
This includes the study of the physical structures of cells and their chemical makeup. It also looks at how they function together to maintain a healthy body or cause disease.
Bachelor Of Science In Clinical Laboratory Science
Clinical lab science students study blood analysis, microbiology and other sample testing. This is in order to identify diseases within patients to help doctors form a diagnosis.
Doctorate – Doctor Of Philosophy (PhD) In Life Sciences
Here you would study research methods, experimental design and data analysis. This degree also includes study of the ethical implications of laboratory work, and how to communicate your findings to others.
Master Of Science In Medical And Molecular Genetics
This course looks at genetics within living organisms with a particular focus on medical applications. They include diagnosis and treatment for diseases that have been inherited or caused by genetic mutations. You would study biochemical mechanisms regulating gene expression, regulation of development through control of cell differentiation and human disease states due to abnormalities in genomic structure or function.
6. Career Opportunities
Entry-level professionals often work as research assistants or laboratory technicians within pharmaceutical companies. Sometimes these employees have access to sensitive information, which necessitates strict confidentiality agreements. At other times they may only perform basic tasks like cleaning the equipment or preparing samples.
There are also junior-level professional opportunities in the form of “marketing fellow” or product manager roles. These people help develop new products by researching technology, evaluating competitors’ goods, and conducting market analysis. They work with scientists on a daily basis to coordinate development efforts and generate revenue for their companies. Scientists who have an interest in management may choose to pursue higher-level positions such as director of research, CEO, COO, etc.
It’s important to recognize that some jobs may require more than one degree/certification because life sciences companies need people who have expertise both in science and non-science areas such as finance and human resources etc.
Hopefully, you understand more about the life sciences industry and are interested in gaining entry into this challenging but rewarding area. In return for your hard work and study, you may gain a lucrative career that benefits the health of other people.