In 1919, Hungarian agricultural engineer Karl Ereky foresaw a time when biology could be used for turning raw materials into useful products. He coined the term biotechnology to describe that merging of biology and technology. Ereky’s vision has now been realized by thousands of companies and research institutions.
Biotechnology has been used in a rudimentary form since ancient brewers began using yeast cultures to make beer. The breakthrough that laid the groundwork for modern biotechnology came when the structure of DNA was discovered in the early 1950s.
The manufacture of biologics is a highly demanding process. Protein-based therapies have structures that are far larger, more complex, and more variable than the structure of drugs based on chemical compounds.