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 need, 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 Immuno-oncology in Pharmaceuticals: Cancer chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 756,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the pharmaceutical industry, there are 110 areas of innovation that will shape the future of the industry.

Cancer chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a key innovation area in immuno-oncology

CAR T-cell therapy utilises T-cells, which are engineered to express a chimeric antigen receptor  which recognises and binds to an antigen  on cancer cells targeting it for T-cell killing.

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 250+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of cancer CAR T-cell therapy. 

Key players in cancer chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy – 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 cancer chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Immatics 2270 Unlock company profile
GSK 1114 Unlock company profile
Pfizer 482 Unlock company profile
OncoTherapy Science 437 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 301 Unlock company profile
BioNTech 181 Unlock company profile
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 173 Unlock company profile
Bristol-Myers Squibb 151 Unlock company profile
CareGroup 146 Unlock company profile
Gilead Sciences 128 Unlock company profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 128 Unlock company profile
Inovio Pharmaceuticals 118 Unlock company profile
Merck & Co 104 Unlock company profile
SEEK Group 96 Unlock company profile
C. H. Boehringer Sohn 87 Unlock company profile
Curevac 82 Unlock company profile
US Department of Health and Human Services 82 Unlock company profile
AECOM 81 Unlock company profile
United States Of America 79 Unlock company profile
Otsuka Holdings 75 Unlock company profile
Esteve Pharmaceuticals 74 Unlock company profile
Autolus 71 Unlock company profile
Innovative Cellular Therapeutics 71 Unlock company profile
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative 71 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 69 Unlock company profile
Aleta Biotherapeutics 69 Unlock company profile
bluebird bio 68 Unlock company profile
Sumitomo Chemical 63 Unlock company profile
AGC 63 Unlock company profile
U.S. Department of Defense 63 Unlock company profile
ImmunityBio 62 Unlock company profile
TRON gGmbH 62 Unlock company profile
CRISPR Therapeutics 61 Unlock company profile
Sanofi 58 Unlock company profile
Fundacion IrsiCaixa 58 Unlock company profile
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center 57 Unlock company profile
Altimmune 56 Unlock company profile
Solon Eiendom 50 Unlock company profile
Mymetics 48 Unlock company profile
Children's Medical Center 47 Unlock company profile
Novavax 45 Unlock company profile
Takeda Pharmaceutical 44 Unlock company profile
Novartis 44 Unlock company profile
Nestle 44 Unlock company profile
Scancell Holdings 43 Unlock company profile
Etubics 43 Unlock company profile
TCR2 Therapeutics 42 Unlock company profile
TheVax Genetics Vaccine 42 Unlock company profile
Mount Sinai Health System 41 Unlock company profile
Miltenyi Biotec 40 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) is one of the leading patent filers in the cancer CAR T-cell therapy market. The company recently entered a licensing agreement with Autolus Therapeutics and a co-development agreement with Immatics for the development of CAR T-cell  therapeutics. BMS has two approved CAR T-cell therapies. It received approval from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) of Japan for its CAR T-cell therapy Abecma (idecabtagene vicleucel) to treat relapsed or refractory (R/R) multiple myeloma in adults and Breyanzi from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for R/R large B-cell lymphoma. Furthermore, with next-generation CAR T candidate known as Nex-T, BMS is incorporating a new manufacturing process that may reduce costs and provide faster production, as well as new CAR engineering for improved functionality.

Another leading filer is Gilead Sciences, which  develops CAR T-cell therapy for cancer treatment. Gilead Sciences has two approved CAR T-cell therapies including Yescarta, which was first approved by the FDA in 2017. Kite, a Gilead Company, recently entered a licensing agreement with Refuge Biotechnologies to utilise Refuge’s proprietary gene expression platform to develop CAR T therapy for blood cancers. Kite also received FDA approval for the company's retroviral vector (RVV) manufacturing facility in Oceanside, California, US, for commercial production.

In terms of application diversity, Scancell Holdings Plc is the top company followed by GSK plc and C. H. Boehringer Sohn AG & Co KG. By  geographic reach, Otsuka Holdings Co Ltd holds the top position. Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc and OncoTherapy Science Inc are in the 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 Immuno-Oncology – Thematic Research.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.