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: miRNA modulation. 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

miRNA modulation is a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry

miRNA modulation refers to the process of regulating the expression of specific mRNA targets through the use of microRNAs (miRNAs). These short non-coding RNAs bind to specific sequences on target messenger RNAs, leading to their degradation or inhibition of translation. The process has significant implications for gene regulation, and its manipulation may lead to the development of new therapeutic strategies for various diseases.

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 100+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of miRNA modulation.

Key players in miRNA modulation – 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 miRNA modulation

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals 357 Unlock Company Profile
Max Planck Society 129 Unlock Company Profile
Max Planck Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Wissenschaften 109 Unlock Company Profile
Bio-Techne 98 Unlock Company Profile
City of Hope 54 Unlock Company Profile
Thermo Fisher Scientific 49 Unlock Company Profile
Bonac 44 Unlock Company Profile
Wave Life Sciences 43 Unlock Company Profile
Yuhan 38 Unlock Company Profile
Benitec Biopharma 35 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 31 Unlock Company Profile
European Molecular Biology Laboratory 27 Unlock Company Profile
Soluventis Nanotherapeutics 26 Unlock Company Profile
PerkinElmer 25 Unlock Company Profile
Danaher 21 Unlock Company Profile
Jiangsu Micromedmark Biotech 19 Unlock Company Profile
Brainstem Biotec 18 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Science and Technology Agency 17 Unlock Company Profile
Nanosur 17 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Chemical 17 Unlock Company Profile
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 17 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 16 Unlock Company Profile
Capricor Therapeutics 16 Unlock Company Profile
Merck 16 Unlock Company Profile
MPEG LA 16 Unlock Company Profile
Amc Amsterdam 15 Unlock Company Profile
Exostem Biotec 15 Unlock Company Profile
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 15 Unlock Company Profile
Kirin 14 Unlock Company Profile
Cancer Research UK 14 Unlock Company Profile
Quest Diagnostics 13 Unlock Company Profile
InteRNA Technologies 12 Unlock Company Profile
NEW HOPE, CITY OF 12 Unlock Company Profile
Erasmus MC 11 Unlock Company Profile
Nanjing KeyGen Biotech 10 Unlock Company Profile
Velin-Pharma 10 Unlock Company Profile
Sirnaomics 10 Unlock Company Profile
Adhera Therapeutics 10 Unlock Company Profile
Henry Ford Health System 10 Unlock Company Profile
Mologen 9 Unlock Company Profile
Suzhou Ribo Life Sciences 9 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 9 Unlock Company Profile
Arcturus Therapeutics 9 Unlock Company Profile
Taipei Veterans General Hospital 8 Unlock Company Profile
Stemlab 8 Unlock Company Profile
Ansun Biopharma 8 Unlock Company Profile
Biocant 8 Unlock Company Profile
Nationwide Children's Hospital 7 Unlock Company Profile
Aligos Therapeutics 7 Unlock Company Profile
Guangzhou RiboBio 7 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals is one of the leading patent filers in miRNA modulation. The company is a pioneer in developing medicines based on RNA interference (RNAi). The company’s lead assets include patisiran, vutrisiran, inclisiran and lumasiran, which are being developed for various genetic and cardio-metabolic diseases. The company is also developing drugs for other therapy areas in various clinical stages of development.

In terms of application diversity, Velin-Pharma leads the pack, while Ansun Biopharma and Biocant stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Soluventis Nanotherapeutics held the top position, followed by Wave Life Sciences and Yuhan.

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.