The pharmaceutical industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the evolution of new treatment paradigms, the gravity of unmet medical 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 787,000 patents filed and granted in the pharmaceutical industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in pharma: anti-malarial peptides. Buy the report here.

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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 stabilizing 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.

80+ 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 668,000 patents, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, engineered multispecific antibodies, tyrosine kinase inhibitors, and mutant DNA polymerases are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Phenotypic drug screening, antibody-drug conjugates, and polysaccharide-protein conjugate vaccines are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are drug delivery nanoparticles and antibody encoding polynucleotide libraries, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the pharmaceutical industry

Anti-malarial peptides is a key innovation area in pharmaceutical industry 

Anti-malarial peptides exhibit activity on malaria parasites, Plasmodium spp., either in blood or mosquito stages, or both. The range of natural and synthetic molecules that make up these peptides is broad, with differences in size, charge, hydrophobicity, and secondary structural characteristics. The activity of anti-malarial peptides is influenced by several environmental variables, including pH, metal ions, and proteases. 

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 90+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of anti-malarial peptides. 

Key players in anti-malarial peptides– a disruptive innovation in the pharmaceutical industry  

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.  

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’. 

Patent volumes related to anti-malarial peptides

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
GSK 308 Unlock Company Profile
U.S. Department of Defence 64 Unlock Company Profile
Sanaria 52 Unlock Company Profile
Artificial Cell Technologies 51 Unlock Company Profile
Zydus Lifesciences 50 Unlock Company Profile
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung 50 Unlock Company Profile
Otsuka 46 Unlock Company Profile
VLP Therapeutics 44 Unlock Company Profile
Inovio Pharmaceuticals 43 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 36 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 32 Unlock Company Profile
VAR2 Pharmaceuticals 30 Unlock Company Profile
SuZhou SJ Biomaterials 29 Unlock Company Profile
Ligand Pharmaceuticals 25 Unlock Company Profile
Saiba 24 Unlock Company Profile
Leidos 23 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 22 Unlock Company Profile
Rhode Island Hospital 20 Unlock Company Profile
Vir Biotechnology 18 Unlock Company Profile
United States Army Reserve 18 Unlock Company Profile
Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine 17 Unlock Company Profile
Vac-4-All 17 Unlock Company Profile
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals 17 Unlock Company Profile
CAS-Lamvac Biotech 16 Unlock Company Profile
Oxford BioMedica 15 Unlock Company Profile
United Biomedical 14 Unlock Company Profile
Zymeworks 14 Unlock Company Profile
Alpha-O Peptides 13 Unlock Company Profile
Seattle Children's Hospital 13 Unlock Company Profile
Cyvax 13 Unlock Company Profile
The Hospital for Sick Children 11 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Chemical 11 Unlock Company Profile
Fundacio Cellex 9 Unlock Company Profile
Theravectys 9 Unlock Company Profile
PHILADELPHIA HEALTH & EDUCATION 8 Unlock Company Profile
ExpreS2ion Biotech 8 Unlock Company Profile
Hawaii Biotech 8 Unlock Company Profile
Eisai 7 Unlock Company Profile
Human Vaccines Project 6 Unlock Company Profile
Curevac 6 Unlock Company Profile
PATH 6 Unlock Company Profile
US Government 6 Unlock Company Profile
Centre de Recerca en Salut Internacional de Barcelona 5 Unlock Company Profile
Chinook Therapeutics 5 Unlock Company Profile
The Henry M Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine 5 Unlock Company Profile
IMV 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sumaya Biotech 5 Unlock Company Profile
aRigen Pharmaceuticals 5 Unlock Company Profile
Core Technologies 4 Unlock Company Profile
Oncothyreon Canada 4 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

GSK is the leading patent filer in anti-malarial peptides. The company focuses on developing, manufacturing and commercialising pharmaceuticals, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. It offers drugs for the treatment of diseases such as HIV, respiratory, cancer, immuno-inflammation, anti-viral, central nervous system (CNS), metabolic, cardiovascular and urogenital, anti-bacterial, dermatological, and certain rare diseases.

GSK and Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) together have developed a preclinical portfolio of antimalarial properties. Through its extensive global R&D and supply network, GSK offers clinical, regulatory, and manufacturing knowledge and resources when compounds enter the clinical development stage. In 2021, the WHO recommended broader use of GSK’s Mosquirix to reduce illness and deaths from malaria in children living in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions with moderate to high transmission as defined by the WHO.

In terms of application diversity, Japanese pharmaceutical company Eisai holds the top position, followed by Theravectys and Suzhou SJ Biomaterials. By means of geographic reach, Zydus Lifesciences is the top company, followed by Ligand Pharmaceuticals and Saiba.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the pharmaceutical industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Pharmaceutical.

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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.