The pharmaceutical industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the evolution of new treatment paradigms, and the gravity of unmet needs, as well as the growing importance of technologies such as pharmacogenomics, digital therapeutics, and artificial intelligence. In the last three years alone, there have been over 633,000 patents filed and granted in the pharmaceutical industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Pharmaceuticals: Viral vectors. Buy the report here.
However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.
Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.
110 innovations will shape the pharmaceutical industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the pharmaceutical industry using innovation intensity models built on over 756,000 patents, there are 110 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, cell therapy for ocular disorders, coronavirus vaccine components, and DNA polymerase compositions are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Adeno-associated virus vectors, alcohol dehydrogenase compositions, and antibody serum stabilisers are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are anti-influenza antibody compositions and anti-interleukin-1, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the pharmaceutical industry
Viral vectors are a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry
Viral vectors are a commonly used tool to deliver genetic material into cells and can be manipulated for use in gene therapy. There are several types of viral vectors that can be used to deliver nucleic acids into the genetic makeup of cells, including retrovirus, lentivirus, adenovirus, adeno-associated virus, and herpes simplex virus.
GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 280+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of viral vectors.
Key players in viral vectors – a disruptive innovation in the pharmaceutical industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to viral vectors
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|bluebird bio||360||Unlock company profile|
|Sanofi||189||Unlock company profile|
|Merck & Co||184||Unlock company profile|
|Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique||174||Unlock company profile|
|Vascular Biogenics||157||Unlock company profile|
|American Gene Technologies International||134||Unlock company profile|
|Genethon||128||Unlock company profile|
|Theravectys||122||Unlock company profile|
|Precigen||115||Unlock company profile|
|Tocagen||113||Unlock company profile|
|Oxford BioMedica||110||Unlock company profile|
|IRCCS Policlinico San Donato||108||Unlock company profile|
|GSK||103||Unlock company profile|
|Autolus||99||Unlock company profile|
|Fondazione Telethon||97||Unlock company profile|
|Sangamo Therapeutics||91||Unlock company profile|
|Takeda Pharmaceutical||81||Unlock company profile|
|Selecta Biosciences||79||Unlock company profile|
|Encoded Therapeutics||77||Unlock company profile|
|Johnson & Johnson||72||Unlock company profile|
|Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center||68||Unlock company profile|
|Children's Hospital of Philadelphia||67||Unlock company profile|
|Esteve Pharmaceuticals||67||Unlock company profile|
|PT Soho Global Health Tbk||64||Unlock company profile|
|CSL||64||Unlock company profile|
|Biogen||63||Unlock company profile|
|Bristol-Myers Squibb||63||Unlock company profile|
|CARsgen Therapeutics||63||Unlock company profile|
|BioMarin Pharmaceutical||62||Unlock company profile|
|Miltenyi Biotec||62||Unlock company profile|
|Children's Medical Center||62||Unlock company profile|
|Shanghai Unicar-Therapy Bio-Medicine Technology||60||Unlock company profile|
|Voyager Therapeutics||59||Unlock company profile|
|Gilead Sciences||58||Unlock company profile|
|EXUMA Biotech||55||Unlock company profile|
|Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center||55||Unlock company profile|
|Amgen||53||Unlock company profile|
|C. H. Boehringer Sohn||51||Unlock company profile|
|MeiraGTx Holdings||51||Unlock company profile|
|Fujifilm Holdings||50||Unlock company profile|
|WuXi AppTec||48||Unlock company profile|
|Centro de Investigaciones Energeticas Medioambientales y Tecnologicas||47||Unlock company profile|
|St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital||46||Unlock company profile|
|Generation Bio||45||Unlock company profile|
|RegenxBio||43||Unlock company profile|
|I'rom Group||43||Unlock company profile|
|Chongqing Precision Biotech||42||Unlock company profile|
|Mayo Clinic||41||Unlock company profile|
|Akouos||41||Unlock company profile|
|HRAIN Biotechnology||40||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
bluebird bio is the leading patent filer of viral vectors. The company has developed various assets based on lentivirus vectors. The company's lead gene therapies are idecabtagene vicleucel and elivaldogene autotemcel which were developed based on lentivirus vectors. The company is heavily involved in the development of oncology drugs based on vectors. bluebird bio is also developing drugs based on DNA and retro-virus vectors.
In terms of application diversity, Arcellx is the top company, followed by AbbVie and 2Seventy bio. By means of geographic reach, Otsuka Holdings holds the top position. Whilst UNUM Therapeutics and Research and Development Foundation stand in second and third positions, respectively.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the pharmaceutical industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Pharmaceutical.