• Hand-held analysers e.g. glucose and cholesterol monitoring

• Non-invasive diagnostics

• Preventive medicine e.g. vaccination

• Personalized medicine, including theranostics.

Globalization of the financial sector has become the most rapidly developing and most influential aspect of economic globalization. Compared with commodity and labour markets, the financial market has realized globalization in its true definition. This is exemplified by the number and value of daily transactions of foreign exchanges.

Although a number of indicators show that the biotechnology industry is moving towards a single global economy, it will take some time before this is achieved. What we are currently observing are examples of internationalization rather than globalization. Internationalization refers to the increasing importance of relations between nations: international trade, international treaties, alliances, protocols, etc. The basic economic units of importance are the countries and the focus remains on the economic trade between these units (Daly 2003). For example, biotechnology firms have alliances with research institutions and other firms overseas to support their business development and market entry strategies. Multinational corporations are rapidly expanding globally and are forming alliances with universities and smaller biotechnology companies. Free trade agreements have been established but between only a limited number of countries, for example between the USA and Australia.

Another observation has been that one area of biotechnology, emerging infectious diseases, occurs in areas other than the USA and Europe. For example, dengue is found mainly in tropical areas with significant outbreaks occurring in SE Asia, Latin America and Africa (Figure 13.5). Apart from a small number of biotechnology firms, these markets are neglected. The same applies for a number of other infectious diseases including malaria, Japanese encephalitis, yellow fever, and to an extent HIV, which has a comparatively high incidence in Africa.

If biotechnology promises to solve many of the world's existing problems, includinginfectious diseases, thenwhy aren'tmorebiotechnologycompanies focusing in these niche market segments? The main reason is that a significant market size cannot be identified by the majority of biotechnology companies. It seems that many of theseproblemswill be resolvedby smallerlocal biotechnology companies that become established within or in close proximity to these markets. For example, PANBIO Ltd, a Brisbane based biotechnology company currently has significant market share for its dengue diagnostic products. It also has developed a yellow fever test that has been cleared by the FDA and is developing tests for Japanese encephalitis and malaria. It can be argued that the pharmaceutical industry is well progressed towards globalization, especially when pharmaceutical companies are drawn to centres of innovation regardless of where they are located. The same could be said about western diseases such as diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, AIDS and arthritis. However, biotechnology will

Figure 13.5 Dengue incidence 2003

not truly become global until emerging diseases in developing countries are also on the agenda of global biotechnology companies.

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