The biotech industry is growing rapidly. Individuals who choose a career in biotech do so for several reasons. The science is exciting, growth and advancement are limitless, equity potential, and there is a major chance to make a difference in the world. There are many pros and cons to choosing this career path. Below are a few things to consider when choosing a career in the biotech industry.
Biotech vs Pharma: The Difference
When someone refers to ‘big pharma’, it’s usually in relation to large companies that have been established and reputable for many years with thousands of employees. Biotech on the other hand, can be anything from a start-up to a medium-sized organization. They have lower headcount, smaller R&D teams, and are typically focused on a very specific therapeutic area or diagnosis. They’re quite lean in the way they operate, meaning they don’t have big teams on projects, and everyone wears a lot of hats.
With this model, biotech tends to be nimbler and can change course quicker than larger pharmaceutical companies with their rigid structure and operating procedures. If you want to pursue a career that has plenty of room for growth, development, and opportunities for advancement, the biotech industry may be the right path for you.
5 Criteria to Consider when Selecting the Right Biotech Company
A huge factor of a successful biotech is the company’s financials. You want the company to have raised significant funds within the past few years. Another indication that a biotech company will gain financial support is positive clinical data reported. Any organization that burns through capital before it can get approved for testing is one to avoid. We recommend following biotech news and sources such as Fiercebiotech to determine the financial status of any prospective employer in biotech. Another thing to consider when reviewing financials is if they have alliances, licensing agreements or partnerships. Milestone payments can be risky if their pipeline isn’t diversified.
- Leadership Team
The individuals who are leading the organization are the face of the company. Review the leadership team to determine the possibility of success. Most biotech companies feature management and leadership teams with diverse backgrounds. Teams should be made up of a combination of individuals with scientific, commercial, strategy, financial, and management expertise. The question you should ask yourself is “Would you trust your future in these people’s hands?”
- The Pipeline and Clinical Results
An ideal biotech to work for would have multiple candidates at different clinical stages (Phase 1-4) in the pipeline. Commercial products provide financial support for the company while early-stage assets offer sustained discovery work. Assets should target multiple indications in case one clinical trial fails.
- Market for Targeted Diseases
Not every disease is valued equally. Cures for popular disease are priceless, but there are so many drugs and treatment protocols on the market that it is difficult to crack that crowded field. Any development needs to be a true game-changer and that’s what biotech is all about.
In fact, some biotechs focus on rare conditions that may affect less than 100,000 people. Those 100,000 people may be willing to pay a premium to treat their condition.
Collaborations between biotech companies and pharma are an important component of the next stage in a company’s evolution. This is one of the key strategic tools to enhance the development programs. You can identify major investors of a biotech company by looking at the company website or research recent news.
We hope you feel more prepared when looking at careers in biotech and how to find the right fit for you. Good luck!