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: Glycoside hydrolase-based drug compositions.

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

Glycoside hydrolase-based drug compositions is a key innovation area in pharmaceuticals

Glycoside hydrolases are enzymes, which hydrolyse the glycosidic linkage between two or more carbohydrates or between carbohydrates and a non-carbohydrate moiety. Compounds that either inhibit or block the activity of glycoside hydrolases are used for the glycaemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes and diseases such as type I Gaucher disease.

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 glycoside hydrolase-based drug compositions.

Key players in glycoside hydrolase-based drug compositions – 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 glycoside hydrolase-based drug compositions

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Halozyme Therapeutics 260 Unlock company profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 259 Unlock company profile
ContraFect 155 Unlock company profile
Lysando 108 Unlock company profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 100 Unlock company profile
Royal DSM 96 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 82 Unlock company profile
P&R 59 Unlock company profile
Micreos 51 Unlock company profile
Takeda Pharmaceutical 34 Unlock company profile
Laclede 31 Unlock company profile
QuiaPEG Pharmaceuticals Holding 30 Unlock company profile
EyePoint Pharmaceuticals 30 Unlock company profile
Sanofi 25 Unlock company profile
Applied Biological Laboratories 24 Unlock company profile
Comera Life Sciences Holdings 23 Unlock company profile
Delpor 19 Unlock company profile
Lysando Holding 19 Unlock company profile
Osio 18 Unlock company profile
Grifols 17 Unlock company profile
Alteogen 16 Unlock company profile
OSE Immunotherapeutics 16 Unlock company profile
Nestle 16 Unlock company profile
Amicus Therapeutics 15 Unlock company profile
City of Hope 15 Unlock company profile
Cedars-Sinai Health System 15 Unlock company profile
CSL 14 Unlock company profile
Innomed 14 Unlock company profile
Baxter International 13 Unlock company profile
AstraZeneca 12 Unlock company profile
Probiotical 12 Unlock company profile
Ipabc 12 Unlock company profile
Ingell Technologies Holding 10 Unlock company profile
Next Science 10 Unlock company profile
Bmi Korea 10 Unlock company profile
Xiangbei Welman Pharmaceutical 9 Unlock company profile
Amano Enzyme 9 Unlock company profile
Synthetic Biologics 8 Unlock company profile
Oil-Dri Corporation of America 8 Unlock company profile
Kewpie 8 Unlock company profile
Seikagaku 8 Unlock company profile
Ansun Biopharma 8 Unlock company profile
Standard of Care 7 Unlock company profile
Inovio Pharmaceuticals 7 Unlock company profile
Serina Therapeutics 7 Unlock company profile
United States Of America 7 Unlock company profile
Unilever 6 Unlock company profile
Aerin Medical 6 Unlock company profile
Nomad Bioscience 6 Unlock company profile
Kowa 6 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Halozyme Therapeutics is the leading patent filer for glycoside hydrolase-based drug compositions. It has filed several patents for the use of hyaluronidase and the methods to manufacture hyaluronidase glycoproteins and its use in pharmaceutical preparations. The company is also exploring combination therapy with an anti-hyaluronan agent and a tumour targeted taxane.

In terms of application diversity, Novo Nordisk Foundation is the top company, followed by Lysando and Marengo Therapeutics. By means of geographic reach, Amicus Therapeutics holds the top position, while F. Hoffmann-La Roche and EyePoint Pharmaceuticals are 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.