Biotechnologies for Medical Applications: Global Markets

May 2010| BIO072A| BCC Publishing

Report Highlights

  • BCC estimates the global market for biotechnologies used in medical applications at about $110.5 billion in 2010.  BCC expects the market to reach $123.2 billion in 2010 and $222.9 billion by 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.6% over the next 5 years.
  • Therapeutic applications (including prophylaxis) were worth $86.4 billion in 2009, accounting for 78.2% of the market. This segment is expected to increase to $96.7 billion in 2010 and reach $177.4 billion by 2015, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.9%. 
  • Diagnostics were the second-largest application segment, with nearly 15% of the market ($16.4 billion) in 2009.  While remaining the second-largest market segment, its share of the global market is expected to decline to a little more than 13% ($29.3 billion) by 2015.


Biotechnology is the manipulation of biological systems, living organisms, or parts or derivatives thereof to perform specific tasks, including medical research and the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Nonmedical applications of biotechnology date back to around 1750 BC, when the ancient Sumerians used yeast to brew beer. 
While medical applications of biotechnology are a much more recent development, there is evidence that the Chinese began the practice of inoculation for smallpox as long ago as the 10th century AD. (Inoculation was the precursor of the more modern practice of vaccination, in which the patient was exposed to the actual smallpox virus in a manner designed to minimize the severity of the infection and produce immunity against further infection.) Some scholars believe that the practice of inoculation actually originated in India.
Whatever the origins of the practice, inoculation was introduced to the West by an English woman, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, who had observed its use by physicians in the Ottoman Empire, where she had lived in 1716 to 1717 as the English ambassador’s wife. Upon returning to England, she had her children inoculated. As awareness of the practice grew, the practice of inoculation spread among the royal families of Europe, and was followed by more general adoption among the general population.
In 1796, English physician Edward Jenner introduced the far safer method of inoculation with the cowpox virus, a nonfatal virus that also induced immunity to smallpox. Louis Pasteur developed new vaccination techniques during the 19th century, extending its applications to bacterial anthrax and viral rabies.
Meanwhile, research was being conducted that would form the foundations of modern biotechnology, e.g., the discovery of the chromosome (1888), the linkage of genes with hereditary disorders (1909), the discovery of penicillin (1928), and the first isolation of an enzyme involved in the synthesis of a nucleic acid (1953). The first recorded use of the term “biotechnology” occurred in 1919.
In 1971, Cetus, the world’s first biotechnology company was founded. Other companies followed, especially in the U.S., but the biotechnology industry really began to take off after the U.S. Supreme court decided in the early 1980s that life forms could be patented, providing biotechnology companies with the intellectual property protection needed to leverage their technology and allow them to develop products for commercialization.
The introduction of new commercial biotechnology applications has greatly accelerated in recent years, with a particular focus on healthcare. The global market for biotechnologies used in medical and healthcare applications is currently valued at nearly $125 billion, and biotechnology is the major engine of growth of some regional and national economies.
Yet, all this seems to be only the beginning: the possibilities of biotechnology are seemingly almost endless. However, intuition alone tells us that not all of these possibilities are likely to become medical reality. The goal of this report is to survey biotechnology applications in the healthcare field, identify the applications that appear to have significant commercial potential in the near to mid-term, and develop quantitative estimates of their current and/or future sales. 
The report’s specific objectives support this broad goal. These objectives include identifying biotechnology applications in healthcare that have the greatest commercial potential in the 2010 through 2015 time frame, identifying market drivers and evaluating obstacles to their successful commercialization, and projecting future sales of each application.
The report is intended especially for biotechnology marketing executives, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists and other readers with a need to know where the biotechnology market in the medical field is headed over the next five years. The report should also be of interest to biotechnology developers and vendors, and others seeking to understand the potential market for their products in selected medical applications. Although the report focuses on specific technologies, it is largely nontechnical in nature. That is, it is concerned less with theory and jargon than with what works and how much of it the market is likely to purchase. 
As such, the report’s main audience is executive management, and marketing and financial analysts. It is not written specifically for scientists and technologists, although its findings concerning the market for their work, and by extension the availability of government and corporate research funding for different technologies and applications, should interest them as well
The report addresses the global market for biotechnologies used in medical and healthcare-related applications during the period from 2009 through 2015. These applications include the diagnosis and treatment of specific medical conditions, as well as medical research and the development and manufacturing of prescription drugs and medical devices. This report covers only substances and devices that address a specific medical condition and for which a doctor’s prescription is required; over-the counter products as well as so-called nutraceuticals are generally not included.
The format of the study includes the following major elements: 
  • Summary
  • Definitions
  • Description of biotechnologies
  • Medical and healthcare applications of biotechnologies
  • Recent technological developments
  • Industry structure and market shares
  • Market size and segmentation, 2009 through 2015
  • Company profiles.
The findings and conclusions of this report are based on information gathered from developers, vendors, and users of biotechnologies for medical applications. Interview data were combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources such as trade publications, trade associations, company literature, and online databases to produce the baseline market estimates contained in this report. 
  • The base year for analysis and projection is 2009. With 2009 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2010 through 2015. The projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts combined with BCC’s understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective.
  • The specific assumptions and approach BCC used to develop the projections both mid-term and long term) for each application are documented in detail under the various segments addressed. This way, readers can see how the market estimates were developed and, if they so desire, test the impact on the final numbers of changing assumptions regarding such matters as date of regulatory approval.
All dollar projections presented in this report are in 2009 constant dollars.
The author of this report is Andrew McWilliams. Mr. McWilliams, a partner in the Boston-based international technology and marketing consulting firm of 43rd Parallel LLC, is the author of several other BCC Research studies of the healthcare and related industries, including: HLC016C Microelectronic Medical Implants: Products, Technologies & Opportunities, HLC036C Medical Robotics and Computer-assisted Surgery, HLC042A Radiation-based Therapy and Therapeutic Imaging, HLC051E The Market for Minimally-invasive Medical Devices, HLC038A Patient Monitoring Devices, HLC054A The Home Medical Equipment Market, HLC048B Healthcare Information Technology, HLC066A Medical Automation Technologies, Products and Markets, HLC070A Preventive Healthcare Technologies, Products and Markets, HLC072A Medical Lasers: Technologies and Global Markets,  and HLC082A Emerging Markets for Advanced Medical Technologies.
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or its use.

Table of Contents & Pricing

All reports provided in PDF format. For shared licensing options (5+ Users), please call a representative at (+1) 781-489-7301 or contact us at
Title/Chapter NamePagesPrice Member Price
Full Report: Biotechnologies for Medical Applications: Global Markets224 $2,750 Free
Chapter- 1: INTRODUCTION5Free
Chapter- 2: SUMMARY2$250Free
Chapter- 3: OVERVIEW11$135Free
Chapter- 4: AMINO ACIDS7$86Free
Chapter- 5: ENZYMES15$184Free
Chapter- 8: STEM CELLS14$172Free
Chapter- 9: BOTANICALS18$221Free
Chapter- 10: VACCINES11$135Free
Chapter- 11: NUCLEIC ACIDS16$196Free
Chapter- 12: MICROORGANISMS6$74Free
Chapter- 13: NON-STEM CELLS/TISSUES12$147Free
Chapter- 14: BIOPOLYMERS13$160Free
Chapter- 15: OTHER BIOMATERIALS10$123Free
Chapter- 16: BIOELECTRONICS11$135Free
Chapter- 17: COMPANY PROFILES33$405Free
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