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Edited by François Thérin
Chapter 15: Small Businesses for High Targets: Strategies in Industrially Exploiting the DNA–RNA Biomechanisms
Nicola Dellepiane Entrepreneurship in the DNA–RNA Area Virtually all pathological processes in animal and vegetal life are associated with underproduction or overproduction of proteins or production of wrong proteins. Each process is also characterized by speciﬁc complex pathways, at molecular level, very diﬃcult to unravel. The pathological aspects tied to, overproduction or underproduction or wrong production of proteins, instead, have been more easily grasped and research has therefore concentrated its eﬀorts to ﬁnd ways of correcting them. Recombinant technologies, the breakthrough that started the biotechnogenetic revolution, have made possible the production of large quantities of proteins with potential uses to correct the pathological imbalances mentioned above. A number of small dedicated biotech ﬁrms started the industrial utilization of recombinant DNA (r-DNA) in the late 1970s. Large companies, mainly operating in human and animal pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, and in animal breeding and agriculture, soon entered the game. Their strategies have aimed at ensuring that the new biotech products could not too quickly weaken the standing of their present products, well positioned in the market. At the same time, they have tried to establish an important presence in controlling the speed and direction of exploitation of the new technologies without excessively exposing themselves to risk. It has been relatively easy for them to capitalize on, sometimes only temporary, weak moments of the young biotech ﬁrms, to gain positions of strength that have curbed small bioﬁrms’ competitive relevance. Biotech start-ups have been initiated by bioscientists who contributed with...
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