Background: Science and technology are two desirable elements for the economic and social development of a country. Biotechnology has a particularly important potential for economic development. Nevertheless, patent production in Latin America remains underdeveloped, which creates the need to analyze its trend and the efforts made to promote patent production. Therefore, the purpose of this study was, on the one hand, to determine trends in biotechnology-related PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) applications in Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Cuba from 1999 to 2015, and, on the other hand, to determine whether there is a relationship between the gross domestic expenditure on research and experimental development as a percentage of gross domestic product (GERD/GDP) and PCT applications for biotechnological inventions from 2007 to 2015 (in this case, the period under study was limited from 2007 to 2015, due to data availability for GERD/GDP in the five selected countries). Results: The first part of this study shows that the growth in biotechnology PCT applications has been moderate and gradual and the trend was fitted to a linear model. The second set of results shows that GERD/GDP is associated with biotechnology-related PCT applications issued during the study period with a significance level of α = 0.01. Conclusions: Even though results indicate a gradual and modest progress, it is necessary that these five representative Latin American nations continue acting toward the protection of intellectual property in the area of biotechnology, especially by configuring strategies for further progress based on investments on research and development. How to cite: Barragán-Ocaña A, Gómez-Viquez H, Merritt H, et al. Promotion of technological development and determination of biotechnology trends in five selected Latin American countries: An analysis based on PCT patent applications. Electron J Biotechnol 2018;37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejbt.2018.10.004.