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: intracellular receptor modulators. 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

Intracellular receptor modulators is a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry

Intracellular receptor modulators are a class of compounds that interact with intracellular receptors to modify their activity, leading to changes in gene expression and cellular signaling. These modulators can be used as therapeutic agents for the treatment of various conditions, such as cancer, inflammatory diseases, and neurological disorders.

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 130+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of intracellular receptor modulators.

Key players in intracellular receptor modulators – 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 intracellular receptor modulators

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Exelixis 440 Unlock Company Profile
Vertex Pharmaceuticals 352 Unlock Company Profile
Bristol-Myers Squibb 303 Unlock Company Profile
Sanofi 122 Unlock Company Profile
AbbVie 100 Unlock Company Profile
Pfizer 92 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 88 Unlock Company Profile
Alcon 86 Unlock Company Profile
Biogen 57 Unlock Company Profile
Otsuka 52 Unlock Company Profile
FibroGen 52 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer Pharma (Bayer Schering Pharma) 48 Unlock Company Profile
NMS Group 48 Unlock Company Profile
GSK 47 Unlock Company Profile
Les Laboratoires Servier 46 Unlock Company Profile
Advenchen Laboratories 43 Unlock Company Profile
Precigen 43 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 41 Unlock Company Profile
Cytokinetics 41 Unlock Company Profile
Max Planck Society 39 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Chipscreen Biosciences 38 Unlock Company Profile
Amgen 32 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Konruns Pharmaceutical 32 Unlock Company Profile
Astellas Pharma 31 Unlock Company Profile
Vivace Therapeutics 29 Unlock Company Profile
VM Discovery 28 Unlock Company Profile
LEO Foundation 27 Unlock Company Profile
Kirin 26 Unlock Company Profile
Eisai 24 Unlock Company Profile
Second Genome 24 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang DTRM Biopharma 23 Unlock Company Profile
AstraZeneca 23 Unlock Company Profile
Oncternal Therapeutics 22 Unlock Company Profile
Cancer Research UK 20 Unlock Company Profile
Microbial Chemistry Research Foundation 19 Unlock Company Profile
Genoscience Pharma 19 Unlock Company Profile
Oncore Biopharma 18 Unlock Company Profile
Merck 18 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer 17 Unlock Company Profile
TaiRx 17 Unlock Company Profile
National Cancer Center 16 Unlock Company Profile
NoNO 16 Unlock Company Profile
Evotec 14 Unlock Company Profile
Vir Biotechnology 13 Unlock Company Profile
Yuhan 13 Unlock Company Profile
ExonHit Therapeutics 13 Unlock Company Profile
Infinity Pharmaceuticals 13 Unlock Company Profile
KNC Laboratories 12 Unlock Company Profile
Angex Pharmaceutical 12 Unlock Company Profile
Evotec (Us) 12 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Exelixis is one of the leading patent filers in Intracellular receptor modulators. It uses its technology for the identification of proteins and nucleic acids involved in intracellular pathways. The company is developing several drugs for cancer based on this pathway.

In terms of application diversity, Precigen leads the pack, while Biogen and LEO Foundation stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, FibroGen held the top position, followed by Otsuka and Les Laboratoires Servier.

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.