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: Anti-HIV 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, 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

Anti-HIV compositions is a key innovation area in pharmaceuticals

Antiretroviral therapy is used for the treatment of HIV. Anti-HIV therapies include of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI), nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), protease inhibitors, fusion inhibitors, C-C chemokine receptor type 5 (CCR5) antagonists, integrase strand transfer inhibitors (INSTI), and post attachment inhibitor drugs. These drugs help to decrease the viral load and prevent the transmission of the infection.

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 150+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of anti-HIV compositions.

Key players in anti-HIV 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 anti-HIV compositions

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
GSK 486 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 240 Unlock company profile
CareGroup 189 Unlock company profile
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative 163 Unlock company profile
Merck & Co 149 Unlock company profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 138 Unlock company profile
Esteve Pharmaceuticals 124 Unlock company profile
AECOM 116 Unlock company profile
Solon Eiendom 110 Unlock company profile
Fundacion IrsiCaixa 90 Unlock company profile
Pfizer 78 Unlock company profile
Inovio Pharmaceuticals 74 Unlock company profile
Theravectys 64 Unlock company profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 64 Unlock company profile
US Department of Health and Human Services 62 Unlock company profile
Mymetics 61 Unlock company profile
Mount Sinai Health System 58 Unlock company profile
Children's Medical Center 57 Unlock company profile
American Gene Technologies International 56 Unlock company profile
Altimmune 56 Unlock company profile
Xigen Inflammation 53 Unlock company profile
United States Of America 52 Unlock company profile
Triad National Security 51 Unlock company profile
Bavarian Nordic 51 Unlock company profile
New York Blood Center 46 Unlock company profile
U.S. Department of Defense 44 Unlock company profile
AGC 43 Unlock company profile
Minka Therapeutics 42 Unlock company profile
Globeimmune 40 Unlock company profile
Curevac 40 Unlock company profile
EpitoGenesis 38 Unlock company profile
Xigen 37 Unlock company profile
Sanofi 33 Unlock company profile
Vaxart 31 Unlock company profile
Academia Sinica 31 Unlock company profile
SEEK Group 31 Unlock company profile
Biovaxim 28 Unlock company profile
Gritstone Bio 27 Unlock company profile
United Biomedical 25 Unlock company profile
AlphaVax 25 Unlock company profile
Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine 24 Unlock company profile
Providence St. Joseph Health 23 Unlock company profile
CSL 23 Unlock company profile
GeoVax Labs 20 Unlock company profile
Bristol-Myers Squibb 20 Unlock company profile
I'rom Group 19 Unlock company profile
ICREA 19 Unlock company profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 18 Unlock company profile
Theraclone Sciences 17 Unlock company profile
FDS Pharma LLP 17 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

GSK is one of the leading patent filers in anti-HIV composition drugs. The company's subsidiary VIV Healthcare is a pioneer in developing HIV drugs. The company has several assets such as Triumeq and Tivicay, which are well established in the market. The company also has several pipeline assets in various stages of development targeting various parts of the virus.

In terms of application diversity, Theraclone Sciences is the top company, followed by AlbaJuna Therapeutics and National Health Laboratory Service. By means of geographic reach, Chinook Therapeutics holds the top position. Profectus BioSciences and SEEK Group are 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.


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.