INSTITUTIONAL DIFFERENCES IN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES ON RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY BETWEEN THE U.S.A. AND JAPAN

Biotechnology, especially genetic engineering, is a revolutionary tool in life-science research. When it came, people thought it would have the greatest impact both on pharmaceutical and agriculture industries, because both are directly based on knowledge of life-science. As a matter of fact, a lot of knowledge of life at molecular level has been produced using the technology and it is giving big impacts to various industries. With respect to agriculture, to accumulate knowledge on plant physiology at the molecular level is important not just for plant genetic engineering, but to develop a future agricultural system that will be sustainable, environmentally safe and/or productive enough to satisfy expanding global population. Though the benefit is considered to be enormous in the long run, investment in the basic plant science is not enough and consequently plant biotechnology is still underdeveloped compared with pharmaceutical. In 1981 genetic engineering was expected to generate $3 billion market in the field of agriculture by 1990. This expected market size was four times larger than that of biotechnology pharmaceuticals. However, as of August, 1991, there is no commercially available products of genetic engineering in agricultural field except for some veterinary vaccines. On the other hand, several recombinant pharmaceuticals have already been commercialized and attained a big market. For example, Genentech's tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) has $200 million market, and Amgen's erythropoietin (EPO) has also $200 million market in the U.S.A. in 1990. There is a significant lag in of agricultural biotechnology. A typical example is Monsanto's case. Monsanto which is a U.S. large chemical and a leading agricultural biotechnology firm as well, has invested $1 billion to develop such products as bovine and swine somatotropins and genetically engineered plants since 1981, but it has no product commercialized yet. With respect to plant biotechnology field, in 1984 not only Monsanto but everyplant biotech firm expected that the tomato would be the first commercialized product of genetically engineering and Monsanto expected that the earliest date of commercialization would be 1993. At that time, however, there was no specific product to develop for commercialization yet. In 1988 the Monsant's virus-resistant tomato was expected to be commercialized in 1992., but this was premature. According to a recent Business Week article, the earliest expected data of commercialization of the Monsant's virus-resistant tomato is 1997 and its estimated market is just $30 million. Instead, an insect-resistant cotton is expected to be commercialized earlier and to have a larger market. The expected date is 1996 and the estimated market size is $100 million. R&D of genetically engineered plants, in general, are taking longer time than expected in earlier stage. And the targeted plant has been affected by not only technical reason but food safety of environmental issues.


Issue Date:
1991
Publication Type:
Thesis/ Dissertation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/11013
Total Pages:
180
Series Statement:
Graduate Research Master's Degree Plan B Papers




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-23

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