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Z Evid Fortbild Qual Gesundhwes. 2010;104(10):732-7. doi: 10.1016/j.zefq.2010.05.001. Epub 2010 May 27.

[The role of biotechnology in pharmaceutical drug design].

[Article in German]

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Fakultät Ingenieurwissenschaften, Hochschule Ansbach und Fraunhofer Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung.


Biotechnological methods have become an important tool in pharmaceutical drug research and development. Today approximately 15 % of drug revenues are derived from biopharmaceuticals. The most relevant indications are oncology, metabolic disorders and disorders of the musculoskeletal system. For the future it can be expected that the relevance of biopharmaceuticals will further increase. Currently, the share of substances in preclinical testing that rely on biotechnology is more than 25 % of all substances in preclinical testing. Products for the treatment of cancer, metabolic disorders and infectious diseases are most important. New therapeutic approaches such as RNA interference only play a minor role in current commercial drug research and development with 1.5 % of all biological preclinical substances. Investments in sustainable high technology such as biotechnology are of vital importance for a highly developed country like Germany because of its lack of raw materials. Biotechnology helps the pharmaceutical industry to develop new products, new processes, methods and services and to improve existing ones. Thus, international competitiveness can be strengthened, new jobs can be created and existing jobs preserved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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