The impact of COVID-19 on the Biotechnology sector.

The fact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a widespread impact on the way we are doing business is a well-known fact. But how does the COVID-19 pandemic affect the Biotechnology industry?

In the short history of Biotechnology, the industry has been protected against downstream market fluctuations. Nonetheless, high labor costs and the need for significant start-up research and development investment make the industry vulnerable to declines in venture capital and government funding. R&D expenditure can take years to pay off. As a result, the growth of the biotech industry over the past 5 years has been minimal.
Strong investments began to yield results until COVID-19 slowed it down again.

Nevertheless the recent surge in investor uncertainty, the Biotechnology industry is well-positioned to return to growth. The industry is good for USD 105.3 billion in 2021 alone in the US. The global biotechnology market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 15.83% from 2021 to 2028 to reach USD 2,438.90 billion by 2028! Investors are looking for secure and safe investments. As a strong and profitable industry, biotechnology will be an attractive area for investment again.

What did the industry do to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Well, biotech companies have pivoted on a massive scale to pursue infectious disease research, and not all of them will be successful. Companies that pivoted to infectious disease work may have opportunities to pursue new classes of therapeutics or detection platforms and novel areas of research. But the industry needs to have a basic understanding of immunology to be successful too.

In addition, COVID-19 has awakened the sleeping giant of at-home diagnostics. Over-the-counter and direct customer diagnostics are set to help solve the pandemic. New technologies create rapid test solutions for the home market in which self-sampling technology is key. Quoting Cision PR Newswire: “New sampling technology, rapid and multiplex tests have changed the picture on how and where testing is done. And the COVID-19 situation will lead the charge.”

So the future looks bright, right?

It’s clear that the infectious disease in-vitro diagnostics market is expected to show promising growth. The growing awareness for early detection using diagnostic tests and the shift in focus from centralized laboratories to decentralized point-of-care will play a huge impact on the industry. Advances in genomics and proteomics, plus growing emerging countries, provide increasing growth opportunities for players (like OmniVis) operating in the disease diagnostic market and Biotechnology sector.

An example of what we can expect: One of the disease types that will hold the largest share of the market is hepatitis diseases. The current increasing number of blood transfusions and donations, increasing prevalence of hepatitis B & C infections, rising susceptibility of the geriatric population, growing awareness among the population, and benefits offered by point of care instruments & kits are expected to propel the growth of this segment.

As you can see, there are many opportunities for emerging biotech companies especially in infectious disease in-vitro diagnostics, worldwide. The gained interest in the field will allow for more funding to be directed towards the R&D of new, qualitative, and cheaper solutions. Making it possible to detect new diseases anywhere in the world, faster and more efficiently.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The COVID-19 pandemic will cause some biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to emerge weaker, dealing with delays in new product launches and with fewer resources to invest in R&D.
Clinical trials are being delayed due to population lockdowns, the inability to use hospitals, doctors, and labs. Because of the decrease in patient-provider interactions, a significant decline in the number of prescriptions caused a decline in sales for some non-covid treatments or tests.

The lockdowns some companies faced during the early COVID-19 stage, in Asia and parts of Europe, have disrupted the supply chain. A huge increase in demand for certain over-the-counter medications and solutions, with consumers stockpiling, has impacted the availability of the products in many countries.

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” — Socrates

Take a look at the OmniVis’ website and see how we are trying to be a piece of this puzzle.

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