Biotechnology Boom

Molecular biologists find niche as new technologies are adapted to the animal health market.
While the biotech boom resounds in human health research, the technology has made less of a roar in the animal health field. Uncertainty over product costs and regulatory approval has left some animal health companies hesitant to embrace biotechnology.

But this situation could be changing. A growing number of vaccines for cats, dogs, and fish are based on recombinant DNA techniques. New diagnostic tests for these animals also rely on biotechnology. These emerging products offer molecular biologists-traditionally the mavens of human health research-a new niche.

"Biotech is now having as profound an impact on animal health as human health," contends Timothy Cronin, senior vice president of animal health research at New York-based Pfizer Inc. "The real opportunities today are in companion animals [dogs and cats]." Cronin says the knowledge needed to enter this line...

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