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-HPV 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-HPV compositions is a key innovation area in pharmaceutical development

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) consists of a family of small, double-stranded DNA viruses that infect the epithelium. More than 200 distinct types have been identified. High-risk or oncogenic HPV types act as carcinogens in the development of cervical cancer and other anogenital cancers. There are 7 approved HPV vaccines. The first vaccine approved by the FDA in 2006 was Gardasil developed by Merck & Co., followed by Cervarix in 2007 developed by GSK.

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-HPV compositions.

Key players in anti-HPV 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-HPV compositions

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
GSK 509 Unlock company profile
Merck & Co 403 Unlock company profile
C. H. Boehringer Sohn 267 Unlock company profile
Pfizer 222 Unlock company profile
Advaxis 134 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 131 Unlock company profile
Xiamen Innovax Biotech 114 Unlock company profile
Moderna 114 Unlock company profile
Compagnie Merieux Alliance 99 Unlock company profile
Zoetis 98 Unlock company profile
Sanofi 96 Unlock company profile
PDS Biotechnology 74 Unlock company profile
Calliditas Therapeutics 73 Unlock company profile
FDS Pharma LLP 64 Unlock company profile
IMV 64 Unlock company profile
Genocea Biosciences 61 Unlock company profile
German Cancer Research Center 60 Unlock company profile
City of Hope 59 Unlock company profile
Inovio Pharmaceuticals 58 Unlock company profile
Nitto Denko 51 Unlock company profile
TheVax Genetics Vaccine 51 Unlock company profile
Hookipa Pharma 48 Unlock company profile
Etubics 46 Unlock company profile
Zydus Lifesciences 46 Unlock company profile
BioNTech 42 Unlock company profile
Aura Biosciences 41 Unlock company profile
Yangshengtang 38 Unlock company profile
Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres 36 Unlock company profile
Hpvvax 35 Unlock company profile
EyeGene 34 Unlock company profile
Meiji Holdings 31 Unlock company profile
Gritstone Bio 31 Unlock company profile
Bavarian Nordic 30 Unlock company profile
Precigen 29 Unlock company profile
Qiagen 29 Unlock company profile
Walvax Biotechnology 28 Unlock company profile
Eli Lilly and 28 Unlock company profile
Redbiotec 27 Unlock company profile
Nykode Therapeutics 26 Unlock company profile
PCI Biotech Holding 25 Unlock company profile
Bioleaders 25 Unlock company profile
Fresh Tracks Therapeutics 24 Unlock company profile
Mayo Clinic 23 Unlock company profile
Bharat Biotech 23 Unlock company profile
Cue Biopharma 21 Unlock company profile
Curevac 21 Unlock company profile
SILLAJEN 21 Unlock company profile
Agenus 20 Unlock company profile
TRON gGmbH 20 Unlock company profile
Pulike Biological Engineering 19 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

GSK is the leading patent filer for anti-HPV compositions.  It offers drugs spanning therapeutic areas such as respiratory, oncology, immuno-inflammation, central nervous system (CNS), metabolic, cardiovascular, dermatology, bacterial infections, viral infections, including HIV, and rare diseases. . GSK’s vaccine portfolio covers various diseases, including hepatitis, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, rotavirus, influenza and HPV infections, measles, and bacterial meningitis, among others.

In terms of application diversity, Assistance Publique - Hopitaux de Paris is the top player, followed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and National Jewish Health. By means of geographic reach, BioNTech holds the top position. Eli Lilly and Pathovax 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.