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: Cell therapy for ocular disorders. Buy the report here.

Smarter leaders trust GlobalData

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

Cell therapy for ocular disorders is a key innovation area in pharmaceuticals

Stem cells have the capacity to revive degenerated cells or replace cells. Various cell types have been used as the source of therapeutic cells, including human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), and human umbilical tissue-derived cells (hUTCs). The regeneration, proliferation and differentiation potential of stem cells result in therapeutic intervention in different kinds of eye disease, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), inherited retinal diseases (IRDs), glaucoma, and corneal diseases.

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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of cell therapy for ocular disorders.

Key players in cell therapy for ocular disorders – 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 cell therapy for ocular disorders

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Riken 131 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Chemical 96 Unlock Company Profile
Lineage Cell Therapeutics 85 Unlock Company Profile
Senju Pharmaceutical 59 Unlock Company Profile
Healios 40 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 22 Unlock Company Profile
Mayo Clinic 19 Unlock Company Profile
Intellia Therapeutics 18 Unlock Company Profile
Neurotech USA 18 Unlock Company Profile
Ecole Normale Supérieure de Paris 17 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Chemical 16 Unlock Company Profile
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals 16 Unlock Company Profile
Pfizer 15 Unlock Company Profile
Doshisha 14 Unlock Company Profile
Children's Medical Center 12 Unlock Company Profile
ActualEyes 12 Unlock Company Profile
Avita International 11 Unlock Company Profile
Acro Biomedical 11 Unlock Company Profile
United States Of America 11 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Chemical Research & Industries 10 Unlock Company Profile
Mackay Memorial Hospital 9 Unlock Company Profile
CorneaGen 8 Unlock Company Profile
HLB 8 Unlock Company Profile
Avellino Lab USA 8 Unlock Company Profile
YouHealth Eyetech 8 Unlock Company Profile
RIKEN 7 Unlock Company Profile
International Stem Cell 7 Unlock Company Profile
Daiichi Sankyo 6 Unlock Company Profile
BioTissue 6 Unlock Company Profile
Youvision Biotech 6 Unlock Company Profile
BioLamina 5 Unlock Company Profile
Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation 5 Unlock Company Profile
Kowa 5 Unlock Company Profile
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 5 Unlock Company Profile
Newcells Biotech 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Senju Pharmaceutical is the leading patent holder of cell therapies for ocular disorders. The company has filed a number of patents covering various cell therapies for the treatment of ophthalmic disorders. One  notable patent is a miR-203 inhibitor for corneal epithelial disorder.

In terms of application diversity, Acro Biomedical is the top company, followed by Daiichi Sankyo, and Mayo Clinic. By means of geographic reach, Intellia Therapeutics holds the top position, while HLB Co Ltd, and Mayo Clinic stand 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.

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.