Research and innovation in cybersecurity in the pharmaceutical sector has declined in the last year.

The most recent figures show that the number of patent applications in the industry stood at 113 in the three months ending November – down from 203 over the same period in the previous year.

Figures for patent grants related to followed a similar pattern to filings – shrinking from 168 in the three months ending November previous year to 113 this year.

The figures are compiled by GlobalData, who track patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Using textual analysis, as well as official patent classifications, these patents are grouped into key thematic areas, and linked to key companies across various industries.

Patents is one of the key areas tracked by GlobalData. It has been identified as being a key disruptive force facing companies in the coming years, and is one of the areas that companies investing resources in now are expected to reap rewards from.

The figures also provide an insight into the largest innovators in the sector.

Johnson & Johnson was the top cybersecurity innovator in the pharmaceutical sector in the last quarter. The company, which has its headquarters in the United States, filed 45 related patents in the three months ending November. That was down from 111 over the same period in the previous year.

It was followed by the Switzerland based Novartis AG with 22 patent applications, Switzerland based F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd (21 applications), and the United States based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (20 applications).

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co has recently ramped up R&D in cybersecurity. It saw growth of 60% in related patent applications in the three months ending November compared to the same period in the previous year - the highest percentage growth out of all companies tracked with more than 10 quarterly patents in the pharmaceutical sector.