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 Innovation in pharma: engineered multi-specific antibodies. 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 multi-specific 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

Engineered multi-specific antibodies is a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry

Engineered multi-specific antibodies are antibodies that are designed to bind to more than one target at a time. These antibodies are usually bi-specific, tri-specific or tetra-specific, and are created by modifying the variable domains of immunoglobulins to create non-CDR binding sites, thereby allowing the creation of a multi-specific antibody with two or more binding sites that can be used to crosslink multiple targets.

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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of engineered multi-specific antibodies.

Key players in engineered multispecific antibodies – 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 engineered multispecific antibodies

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Johnson & Johnson 240 Unlock Company Profile
Molecular Partners 138 Unlock Company Profile
Bristol-Myers Squibb 116 Unlock Company Profile
MacroGenics 79 Unlock Company Profile
AstraZeneca 76 Unlock Company Profile
Pieris Pharmaceuticals 71 Unlock Company Profile
Arcellx 67 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 63 Unlock Company Profile
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals 54 Unlock Company Profile
Subdomain 43 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 43 Unlock Company Profile
Complix 43 Unlock Company Profile
F-star Therapeutics 42 Unlock Company Profile
Eureka Therapeutics 34 Unlock Company Profile
GSK 31 Unlock Company Profile
Astellas Pharma 27 Unlock Company Profile
AdAlta 26 Unlock Company Profile
Poseida Therapeutics 26 Unlock Company Profile
Horizon Therapeutics 24 Unlock Company Profile
F-Star Beta 20 Unlock Company Profile
NEW HOPE, CITY OF 19 Unlock Company Profile
Affibody 19 Unlock Company Profile
Avacta Group 17 Unlock Company Profile
Abclon 16 Unlock Company Profile
Swedish Orphan Biovitrum 15 Unlock Company Profile
NantWorks 15 Unlock Company Profile
St. Anna Kinderkrebsforschung 12 Unlock Company Profile
IONTAS 11 Unlock Company Profile
TargImmune Therapeutics 11 Unlock Company Profile
PT Soho Global Health 11 Unlock Company Profile
Zymeworks 10 Unlock Company Profile
UV-Cap 9 Unlock Company Profile
City of Hope 9 Unlock Company Profile
Maxion Therapeutics 9 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer 8 Unlock Company Profile
Affilogic 8 Unlock Company Profile
Gilead Sciences 8 Unlock Company Profile
DCB-USA 7 Unlock Company Profile
Pheromonicin Biotech 7 Unlock Company Profile
Suzhou Zelgen Biopharmaceutical 7 Unlock Company Profile
Reflexion Pharmaceuticals 6 Unlock Company Profile
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center 6 Unlock Company Profile
The United States Of America 5 Unlock Company Profile
Moderna 5 Unlock Company Profile
US Government 4 Unlock Company Profile
Grifols 3 Unlock Company Profile
Century Therapeutics 3 Unlock Company Profile
C. H. Boehringer Sohn 3 Unlock Company Profile
UNIST 3 Unlock Company Profile
Ecovyst 2 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Johnson & Johnson is one of the leading patent filers in engineered multi-specific antibodies. The company’s lead multi-specific antibodies are talquetamab, teclistamab and amivantamab, which are marketed in various geographies. Apart from the marketed drugs, the company has several pipeline drugs that are being evaluated for various indications and have reached various clinical development stages.

In terms of application diversity, PT Soho Global Health Tbk leads the pack, while Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and TargImmune Therapeutics stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, MacroGenics held the top position, followed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Arcellx.

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.