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: Cyclodextrin drug conjugates.

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

Cyclodextrin drug conjugates is a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry

Cyclodextrins (CDs) are polysaccharides formed by biodegrading starch using glucanotransferase enzyme. They are obtained in three different forms –  alpha-CD, beta-CD, and gamma-CD. CDs are used where an encapsulation application is required for a pharmaceutical agent as they can host active molecules through their internal hydrophobic cavities. CDs also help in masking and prolonging the half-life of drugs used in the treatment of cancer.

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 50+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of cyclodextrin drug conjugates.

Key players in cyclodextrin drug conjugates – 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 cyclodextrin drug conjugates

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Axsome Therapeutics 124 Unlock company profile
Ligand Pharmaceuticals 88 Unlock company profile
Zhejiang Jiuzhou Pharmaceutical 60 Unlock company profile
Sapiotec 38 Unlock company profile
Jurox 37 Unlock company profile
Alcon 35 Unlock company profile
Galderma 32 Unlock company profile
Bayer 28 Unlock company profile
Indus Biotech Pvt 28 Unlock company profile
Sage Therapeutics 27 Unlock company profile
Bristol-Myers Squibb 27 Unlock company profile
Pierre Fabre Foundation 25 Unlock company profile
AiVita Biomedical 21 Unlock company profile
Lundbeck Foundation 18 Unlock company profile
Midatech Pharma 17 Unlock company profile
Roquette Freres 16 Unlock company profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 15 Unlock company profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 14 Unlock company profile
Melinta Therapeutics 14 Unlock company profile
Wockhardt 14 Unlock company profile
Altergon 14 Unlock company profile
UTI Partnership 14 Unlock company profile
Takeda Pharmaceutical 13 Unlock company profile
Poli Md 12 Unlock company profile
Chiesi Farmaceutici 12 Unlock company profile
BC Partners LLP 12 Unlock company profile
Foresee Pharmaceuticals 11 Unlock company profile
Morinaga Milk Industry 11 Unlock company profile
Otsuka Holdings 11 Unlock company profile
Golden Omega 11 Unlock company profile
OP2 Drugs 10 Unlock company profile
Aurea Biolabs Pvt 9 Unlock company profile
Biocydex 9 Unlock company profile
Rezolute 9 Unlock company profile
Grunenthal 9 Unlock company profile
Erimos Pharmaceuticals 9 Unlock company profile
Fondazione Istituto Insubrico di Ricerca per la Vita 8 Unlock company profile
Eurofarma Laboratorios 7 Unlock company profile
Meridian Laboratories 7 Unlock company profile
RaQualia Pharma 7 Unlock company profile
Jointherapeutics 7 Unlock company profile
Beijing Aosaikang Pharmaceutical 6 Unlock company profile
Marinus Pharmaceuticals 6 Unlock company profile
Asdera 6 Unlock company profile
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 6 Unlock company profile
E. Merck 6 Unlock company profile
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries 6 Unlock company profile
UCB 5 Unlock company profile
Merck & Co 5 Unlock company profile
Fresenius 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Axsome Therapeutics is the leading patent filer in cyclodextrin drug conjugates. Axsome Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercialises therapies for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Axsome is headquartered in New York, US.

In terms of application diversity, Takeda Pharmaceutical is the top company, followed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Zhejiang Jiuzhou Pharmaceutical. By means of geographic reach, Melinta Therapeutics holds the top position. While Foresee Pharmaceuticals and Sage Therapeutics 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.


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.