Biotechnology with reference to pharmaceutical sciences


Biotechnology is the multidisciplinary field that involves the integration of natural sciences and engineering sciences in order to achieve the application of organisms, cells, parts and molecular analogues for products and services. The concept of biotechnology encompasses a wide range of procedures for modifying living organisms for human purposes, cultivation of plants and breeding techniques. Biotechnology has vast use in pharmaceutical sciences like, antibiotics production, vaccine testing and production, plant tissue culture and genome sequencing. In this article we will see brief introduction to biotechnology with reference to pharmaceutical sciences.


The term biotechnology was firstly used by Hungarian agricultural engineer Karoly Ereky in 1919. The core principle of biotechnology involves harnessing biological systems and organisms, such as bacteria, yeast, and plants to perform specific tasks or produce valuable substances. The definition of biotechnology is given by various dictionaries and communities as follows,

  • According to Collins English Dictionary, biotechnology is the employment of living organisms, their parts or processes, to develop active and useful products to provide services.
  • According to Oxford Dictionary of Biology, biotechnology is the application of biological processes to the production of materials of use in medicine and industry.
  • According to Golden treasury of science and technology, biotechnology is the discipline based on the harnessing of life processes which are controlled for the bulk production of valuable substances.
  • According to American Chemical Society, biotechnology is the application of biological organisms, systems or processes by various industries to learning about the science of life and improvement of the value of materials and organisms such as pharmaceuticals, crops and livestock.
  • According to European Federation of Biotechnology, biotechnology is the integration of natural science and organisms, cells and molecular analogues for products and services.

In a nutshell, Biotechnology is the integrated use of microbiology, biochemistry and engineering services in production or as service operation.

Branches of biotechnology

Biotechnology has a very vast importance in various fields of science and technology, agriculture, medicinal science, pharmaceutical sciences, etc. Various branches and their area of study is given in table below.

Branch of biotechnologyArea of study
Red biotechnologyMedicine and human health
Bule biotechnologyMarine biotechnology
Gray biotechnologyEnvironmental biotechnology
Violet biotechnologyLaw, ethics, philosophy biotechnology
Yellow biotechnologyFood and nutrition
Dark biotechnologyBioterrorism, biological welfare
Gold biotechnologyBioinformatics, computer science
Brown biotechnologyBiotechnology of desert and dry regions
Green biotechnologyProcesses improving agriculture
White biotechnologyIndustrial process involving microorganisms

Pharmaceutical biotechnology

The fusion of pharmaceutical science and biotechnology is known as the pharmaceutical biotechnology. Pharmaceutical biotechnology is defined as the science which deals with all technologies for the production, manufacturing and registration of biological drugs. The aim of pharmaceutical biotechnology is to design and manufacture drugs which are adopted to humans’ genetic makeup and can produce maximum therapeutic effect. Biotechnology plays an important role in pharmaceutical science most especially in the pharmaceutical industries by creation of genetically modified organisms that can be used in industrial production.

Applications of pharmaceutical biotechnology

Pharmaceutical biotechnology involves production of various products like antibodies, proteins and recombinant DNA products.


Antibodies are proteins that are produced by white blood cells and are used by the immune system to identify bacteria, viruses and other foreign substances and to fight them off. In the recent years, monoclonal antibodies are one of the most exciting developments in pharmaceutical biotechnology. For example, actinin alpha monoclonal antibodies, actin smooth muscle monoclonal antibodies, etc.


Proteins are the large, complex molecules made up of amino acids and are required for the structure, function and regulation of tissue and organs. Protein biotechnology is emerging as one of the key technologies of the future for understanding the development of many diseases like cancer or a myloid formation for better therapeutic intervention.

Recombinant DNA product

Recombinant DNA products are manufactured and used largely in pharmaceutical sciences. Some of the important recombinant DNA products used in pharmaceutical science are,

  • Recombinant DNA vaccine
  • Recombinant DNA drugs
  • Recombinant DNA enzymes
  • Recombinant DNA growth hormone
  • Recombinant DNA insulin
  • Recombinant DNA proteins
  • Recombinant DNA yeast

Recombinant DNA vaccines

A recombinant vaccine is a vaccine produced through recombinant DNA technology. This involves inserting the DNA encoding antigen (such as a bacterial surface protein) that stimulates an immune response into bacterial or mammalian cells, expressing the antigen in these cells and then purifying it from them. For example, hepatitis B infection is controlled through the use of recombinant hepatitis B vaccine.

The following table depicts the important pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines manufactured using biotechnology.

Generic nameProduct nameName of company


Human insulinHumulinEli Lilly




Digoxin immune fabDigibindBurrough well come




Interferon-α-2bIntron ASchering-Plough


Hepatitis B vaccineRecombivax HBMerk


SomatotropinHumatropeEli Lilly


Haemophilus B conjugate vaccineHib titerPraxis biologics


Hepatitis B vaccineEngerix BSmithkline Beecham





Biotechnology involves utilizing biological systems, organisms, or derivatives to develop products and applications for various industries, including medicine. In the context of pharmaceutical sciences, biotechnology plays a crucial role in the development of innovative drugs, vaccines, and therapeutic treatments. The article explores the key biotechnological techniques such as genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology and monoclonal antibody production, highlighting their applications in drug discovery and development. Understanding the fundamentals of biotechnology is essential for navigating the rapidly evolving landscape of pharmaceutical research and advancing healthcare solutions.

For more regular updates you can visit our social media accounts,

Instagram: Follow us

Facebook: Follow us

WhatsApp: Join us

Telegram: Join us

Leave a Comment