World of Pharma & Biotech
In earlier days, there was a specific distinction between old-style pharmaceutical companies and biotechnology companies. Biotechs genetically engineered proteins from the body, like human growth hormone, for use as therapeutics and produced them in mass quantities. Pharmaceutical companies were medicinal chemistry companies that explored the globe looking for compounds to screen against assays.
Nowadays that distinction is meaningless. When people use the phrase Big Pharma or pharmaceutical companies, they are referring specifically to large, global drug companies that research, develop and sell all kinds of drugs (and sometimes medical devices). Biotech now refers to development-stage companies of many ilks. Biotech encompasses genomics, gene therapy and combinatorial chemistry, as well as traditional protein development companies, and many other ermutations.