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 Innovation in Pharmaceuticals: Alcohol dehydrogenase compositions. 

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, enzyme-based therapies, and cell therapies are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Gene therapy and biosensor are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are pyridine derivatives and genetically modified enzymes, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the pharmaceutical industry

Alcohol dehydrogenase compositions is a key innovation area in pharmaceutical 

Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) is a major alcohol-metabolising enzyme found in many organisms such as mammals, high plants, fungi, yeast, and bacteria. ADH converts NAD+ cofactor to NADH, subsequently oxidising alcohol to acetaldehyde. In humans, this enzyme is found in cytosol of stomach and liver cells and is a primary defence against alcohol. ADHs also play a vital role in the metabolism of several drugs and metabolites that contain alcohol functional groups. 

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 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of alcohol dehydrogenase compositions. 

Key players in alcohol dehydrogenase compositions – 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 alcohol dehydrogenase compositions

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
LanzaTech NZ 80 Unlock company profile
International Flavors & Fragrances 71 Unlock company profile
Royal DSM 59 Unlock company profile
Genomatica 46 Unlock company profile
Chevron 36 Unlock company profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 33 Unlock company profile
Oragenics 31 Unlock company profile
Deinove 31 Unlock company profile
Precigen 26 Unlock company profile
GS Caltex 26 Unlock company profile
METabolic EXplorer 26 Unlock company profile
Gevo 24 Unlock company profile
Hyasynth Biologicals 22 Unlock company profile
SK Innovation 18 Unlock company profile
Lallemand Hungary Liquidity Management 17 Unlock company profile
Calysta 17 Unlock company profile
Synlogic 14 Unlock company profile
LanzaTech 14 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 14 Unlock company profile
Braskem 12 Unlock company profile
Algenol Biotech 12 Unlock company profile
BASF 11 Unlock company profile
Ajinomoto 10 Unlock company profile
Biocheminsights 9 Unlock company profile
Kerry Group 9 Unlock company profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 9 Unlock company profile
Samsung Group 8 Unlock company profile
Adverum Biotechnologies 8 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 8 Unlock company profile
Industrial Microbes 7 Unlock company profile
Global Bioenergies 7 Unlock company profile
Givaudan 7 Unlock company profile
Clariant 7 Unlock company profile
Bio Capital Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
River Stone Biotech 6 Unlock company profile
Mascoma 6 Unlock company profile
Algenol Biofuels 6 Unlock company profile
Dow 6 Unlock company profile
CPC 5 Unlock company profile
Hyasynth Biologicals 5 Unlock company profile
Scientist of Fortune, 5 Unlock company profile
Advanced Enzyme Technologies 5 Unlock company profile
Forschungszentrum Julich 5 Unlock company profile
White Dog Labs 5 Unlock company profile
Joule Unlimited (formerly Joule Biotechnologies) 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

F. Hoffmann-La Roche (Roche) is a biotechnology company that develops drugs and diagnostics to treat major diseases. Roche is focused on early detection and accurate diagnosis using in vitro diagnostics, tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and molecular sequencing technologies. Roche has made about 22 acquisitions in diagnostics since 2014 and has about 300 active in-licensing agreements and 190 active out-licensing agreements. The company is among the top R&D investors in healthcare, with 13.7bn CHF invested in 2021. There is a greater global need for alcohol dehydrogenase in the future and Roche is among the top companies meeting the enzyme demand. 

In terms of application diversity, Oragenics is the top company, followed by Adverum Biotechnologies and Bio Capital. By means of geographic reach, Hyasynth Biologicals holds the top position. F. Hoffmann-La Roche and Oragenics 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 Pharmaceutical

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.