Pharmaceutical Products Presentation!

My partner Gina and I created a presentation of DNA technology and pharmaceutical products! We chose this topic because both of our parents have experience at Genentech, a company making great advancements in personalized medicine in oncology! We discussed how insulin is made, how personalized medicine works, and an ethical question regarding personalized medicine! Check out our powerpoint and the script google doc to follow along and leave your thoughts below!

Medical Applications: Pharmaceutical Products SCRIPT!!!

Pharmaceutical Products

  • The pharmaceutical industry is significantly benefitted by advances in DNA technology and genetic research. Advancements can be applied to the development of useful drugs.
  • Defined as the use of living things or parts by means of recombinant DNA technology in order to create or modify drugs
  • Products are created using organic chemistry or biotechnology
  • Biopharmaceutical = a biological macromolecule or cellular component used as a pharmaceutical.


  • Pharmaceutical companies are producing molecules made by recombinant DNA to treat various diseases
  • According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “a majority of therapeutic drugs in the current market are bioformulations, such as antibodies, nucleic acid products and vaccines”
  • insulin for diabetes
  • interferon for viral infections
    • Interferon = a group of signaling proteins made and released by host cells in response to the presence of several pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, and also tumor cells
  • Production of human hormones and proteins with therapeutic uses
    • Turner’s syndrome
    • Premature babies
    • Enhanced weight loss
      • Obesity
    • Erectile dysfunction
  • Producing safer vaccines
    • Now being produced commercially from cloned genes

Example & DNA Technology

  • Recombinant DNA is a technology that makes it possible to insert a human gene into the genetic material of a common bacterium, thus the “recombinant” (re-combined) microorganism can now produce the protein coded by the human gene. Like with insulin!
  • People with diabetes have a problem with how their body produces or responds to insulin, therefore scientists use recombinant dna to produce insulin medicine for diabetics to take.
    • First the scientists build the human insulin gene in the lab and then they remove a loop of bacterial dna which is known as plasmid
    • Next they insert the human insulin gene into the plasmid and then researchers return the plasmid to the bacteria and put the recombinant bacteria into a large fermentation tank
    • Then the recombinant bacteria use the gene to produce human insulin which scientists then harvest from the bacteria and purify to make medicine for people

Recent Breakthrough

  • Oncology, which is the study and treatment of tumors and cancers, has become increasingly personalized at Genentech because medicine that works for one person, may not work for another!
  • Researchers at Genentech stated that the realization that human diseases and many cancers are heterogeneous, which means they result from different molecular drivers that fuel the disease, was the key driver
    • Two women with breast cancer whose disease looks similar under the microscope can have VERY different diseases at the molecular level and thus need different treatments
    • The more information they have, the better they can understand the role of different mutations in each disease, develop biomarkers and identify the right medicine for EACH patient
  • Many Biomarkers + multiple targeted medicines = endless combinations designed to treat many different types of cancer

Ethical Issues/Questions

  • The major concerns with pharmaceutical product biotechnology:
  • Affordability
    • For example
      • the current “EpiPen Scandal”
        • EpiPen is priced in the $600s but CVS will be stocking a generic Adrenaclick which come in a two-pack for $109.99
      • Personalized medicine
        • Very expensive, created with biologic material as opposed to synthetic material thus making the medicine more expensive
        • Only certain populations can afford this medicine as insurance companies who pay for the treatments will make the patient pay increasing amounts
        • Thus the question is created, should personalized medicine only be for those who can afford the treatment, or should the care be readily available to everyone in need. If so, at what cost?





3 thoughts on “Pharmaceutical Products Presentation!

  1. Outstanding piece of work. You captured the essence of the critical work being done by the biotech industry to eradicate serious diseases. Also I appreciated how you understood some of the dilemmas that the industry faces. There are no easy answers to those questions or to the work of personalized medicine which is why we need bright minds like yours and Gina’s to be involved in the solution.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you added the slideshow directly in your blog! This made viewing it very easy, also I appreciate you adding the script, which enabled me to understand everything.

    Liked by 1 person

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