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Biotechnology for Pets - Veterinary Medicine in the 21st Century

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Biotechnology for Pets - Veterinary Medicine in the 21st Century

  1. 1. Each year, Americans spend approximately $14.4 billion on prescription drugs to treat their pets when they become ill or injured. Pharmaceutical companies focused on human medicines have always done brisk business in the veterinary market, although most of their work has been for livestock. Now, veterans of the biotech industry have begun to apply their research to the aliments of domestic pets. The business realities of the veterinary market offer advantages and disadvantages to the new companies popping up in the wake of successful human-focused biotech firms.
  2. 2. Generally, even a particularly successful drug for animals will gross far fewer profits than a major drug for people, but the cost of developing veterinary medicine is significantly lower. Innovative new biotech companies are also taking advantage of the development of human drugs, many of which either are tested on pets, occasionally showing greater success than in human trials, or could be extended for use in pets, as with the monoclonal antibodies that have revolutionized cancer treatment in humans.

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