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: Mammalian expression vectors. 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 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

Mammalian expression vectors is a key innovation area in pharmaceutical

Mammalian expression vectors are used to introduce a specific fragment of DNA into mammalian systems for RNA or protein expression. These systems include human and mouse cell lines, and even in vivo in live animals. Mammalian expression vectors are often considered to be more beneficial for the expression of mammalian genes due to the similarity in cellular machinery.

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 160+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of mammalian expression vectors.

Key players in mammalian expression vectors – 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 mammalian expression vectors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
CRISPR Therapeutics 163 Unlock Company Profile
E. Merck 157 Unlock Company Profile
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals 139 Unlock Company Profile
Editas Medicine 133 Unlock Company Profile
Immatics 118 Unlock Company Profile
Inscripta 91 Unlock Company Profile
Takeda Pharmaceutical 91 Unlock Company Profile
Massachusetts General Hospital 80 Unlock Company Profile
Kirin Holdings 77 Unlock Company Profile
Caribou Biosciences 76 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 69 Unlock Company Profile
Corteva 66 Unlock Company Profile
C. H. Boehringer Sohn 65 Unlock Company Profile
Sangamo Therapeutics 59 Unlock Company Profile
Vertex Pharmaceuticals 58 Unlock Company Profile
Intellia Therapeutics 52 Unlock Company Profile
Daiichi Sankyo 49 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer 48 Unlock Company Profile
Bristol-Myers Squibb 48 Unlock Company Profile
Nature Technology 47 Unlock Company Profile
Beam Therapeutics 43 Unlock Company Profile
Jackson ImmunoResearch Laboratories 39 Unlock Company Profile
ToolGen 36 Unlock Company Profile
General Hospital 35 Unlock Company Profile
Danaher 34 Unlock Company Profile
KSQ Therapeutics 33 Unlock Company Profile
CJ 33 Unlock Company Profile
JSR 32 Unlock Company Profile
Modalis Therapeutics 28 Unlock Company Profile
EdiGene 28 Unlock Company Profile
Eli Lilly and 26 Unlock Company Profile
Precigen 26 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm Holdings 26 Unlock Company Profile
Arc Bio 25 Unlock Company Profile
Keygene 25 Unlock Company Profile
Arbor Biotechnologies 24 Unlock Company Profile
Application of Information and Communication Technologies (AICT) 24 Unlock Company Profile
Rocket Pharmaceuticals 22 Unlock Company Profile
Generation Bio 21 Unlock Company Profile
ImmunityBio 21 Unlock Company Profile
Seattle Children's Hospital 21 Unlock Company Profile
Tropic Biosciences UK 21 Unlock Company Profile
Flagship Pioneering 21 Unlock Company Profile
Sanofi 21 Unlock Company Profile
Cellectis 21 Unlock Company Profile
Eligo Bioscience 20 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 20 Unlock Company Profile
Charles Stark Draper Laboratory 20 Unlock Company Profile
Puretech Health 19 Unlock Company Profile
G+FLAS Life Sciences 19 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

CRISPR Therapeutics is one of the leading patent filers for mammalian expression vector technologies. The company’s lead technology is CRISPR/CAS 9. The company is also working on programmes for modulating the expression of the gene by genome editing in several therapy areas such as cancer and rare diseases.

In terms of application diversity, Eli Lilly is the top company, followed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Immatics. By means of geographic reach, Immatics holds the top position, while Eli Lilly and Takeda Pharmaceutical are in the 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.

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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.