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What’s the Difference Between Biotech & Biopharma?

biopharma vs biotech

The terms 'biotech' and 'biopharma' are sometimes used interchangeably by those outside the life sciences industry. However, while they do share many similarities, these are two distinct fields.

This blog will look at the differences between biotech and biopharma, provide definitions of each term, and explore how these two disciplines intersect.

Biotech definition

Biotechnology (or 'biotech' for short) is the use of living organisms and cellular / biomolecular processes to develop products that enhance our quality of life.

Someone working in the biotechnology industry might focus on...

  • Creating new antibiotics to treat infections
  • Developing new types of biofuel
  • Testing the efficacy of new drugs
  • Studying how biological systems can be used in other industries

Biotechnology professionals can specialise in various fields, including marine biology, medicine, agriculture, plants and the environment.


Biopharma definition

Biopharmaceuticals are pharmaceutical products that are produced using biotechnology techniques.

Biopharma companies will use proteins, antibodies and other living organisms to create drugs that can treat or prevent a wide variety of illnesses.


Biotech vs biopharma: what's the difference?

The main difference between these two sectors is how they operate. Biotechnology tends to be more academic and lab based, focusing on research and development. Biopharma is more about the creation and distribution of final products derived from this research.

That said, biotech and biopharma are closely connected. Biopharmaceutical products wouldn't exist without the biotechnology work that goes into their creation.

Find your next role with HRS

Want to work in biotech or biopharma? Here at HRS, we specialise in finding bright and innovative individuals to fill roles within the life sciences industry. Click the link below to explore our latest roles and apply online.

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