The pharmaceutical industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the evolution of 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 787,000 patents filed and granted in the pharmaceutical industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Cell & gene therapy in pharma: CAR-T cell-based therapiesBuy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 668,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the pharmaceutical industry, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

CAR-T cell-based therapies is a key innovation area in cell & gene therapy

CAR-T cell-based therapies, short for chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies, represent a groundbreaking approach to treating certain types of cancer. These therapies involve the genetic modification of a patient’s own T cells to target and destroy cancer cells more effectively. CAR-T cell therapies have shown remarkable success in treating hematologic malignancies, particularly B-cell lymphomas and leukemias. The CAR consists of several components, among which extracellular antigen-binding domain typically contains a single-chain variable fragment (scFv) or another antigen-binding domain engineered to recognize a specific cancer cell antigen. The transmembrane domain anchors the CAR within the T cell’s membrane. Intracellular signaling domains activate the T cell upon antigen recognition.

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 1,000+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of CAR-T cell-based therapies.

Key players in CAR-T cell-based therapies – 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 CAR-T cell-based therapies

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Immatics 4251 Unlock Company Profile
Bristol-Myers Squibb 1522 Unlock Company Profile
GSK 1242 Unlock Company Profile
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center 897 Unlock Company Profile
OncoTherapy Science 798 Unlock Company Profile
Pfizer 797 Unlock Company Profile
Gilead Sciences 728 Unlock Company Profile
Cellectis 700 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 603 Unlock Company Profile
Autolus 562 Unlock Company Profile
Novartis 534 Unlock Company Profile
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center 471 Unlock Company Profile
Iovance Biotherapeutics 451 Unlock Company Profile
BioNTech 429 Unlock Company Profile
Amgen 426 Unlock Company Profile
Eureka Therapeutics 391 Unlock Company Profile
NantWorks 376 Unlock Company Profile
bluebird bio 363 Unlock Company Profile
NEW HOPE, CITY OF 353 Unlock Company Profile
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals 299 Unlock Company Profile
Miltenyi Biotec 296 Unlock Company Profile
CRISPR Therapeutics 284 Unlock Company Profile
Seattle Children's Hospital 281 Unlock Company Profile
Nanjing Legend Biotech 258 Unlock Company Profile
Coherus BioSciences 247 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 239 Unlock Company Profile
Immunovative Therapies 231 Unlock Company Profile
C. H. Boehringer Sohn 226 Unlock Company Profile
Massachusetts General Hospital 204 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 203 Unlock Company Profile
TCR2 Therapeutics 199 Unlock Company Profile
Merck 198 Unlock Company Profile
PT Soho Global Health 192 Unlock Company Profile
CareGroup 183 Unlock Company Profile
Takeda Pharmaceutical 171 Unlock Company Profile
Sangamo Therapeutics 170 Unlock Company Profile
Precision Biosciences 163 Unlock Company Profile
CARsgen Therapeutics 161 Unlock Company Profile
City of Hope 157 Unlock Company Profile
Allogene Therapeutics 154 Unlock Company Profile
Inovio Pharmaceuticals 153 Unlock Company Profile
Fate Therapeutics 152 Unlock Company Profile
2Seventy Bio 148 Unlock Company Profile
Verneuil Participations 147 Unlock Company Profile
Alpine Immune Sciences 139 Unlock Company Profile
Innovative Cellular Therapeutics 138 Unlock Company Profile
Poseida Therapeutics 136 Unlock Company Profile
AstraZeneca 136 Unlock Company Profile
Biogen 134 Unlock Company Profile
Aleta Biotherapeutics 117 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Immatics is one of the leading patent filers in CAR-T cell-based therapies. Immatics is a biopharmaceutical company that has been involved in the development of CAR-T cell therapies targeting specific cancer antigens. Immatics' CAR-T therapies are based on T-cell receptors (TCRs), which are different from traditional CARs. The company has a pipeline of TCR-based therapies in development. In 2022, Immatics and Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) expanded their strategic alliance to pursue the development of multiple allogeneic off-the-shelf TCR-T and/or CAR-T programs. BMS and GSK are some of the other key patent filers in CAR-T cell-based therapies.

In terms of application diversity, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals leads the pack, while Immatics and Inovio Pharmaceuticals stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Coherus BioSciences held the top position, followed by Immatics and Pfizer.

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.