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: modified nucleotide therapies. 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

Modified nucleotide therapies is a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry

Modified oligonucleotides-based therapies involve the use of chemically-modified RNAi constructs, antisense compounds, and siRNA to target and inhibit the expression of specific genes associated with various diseases. These therapies utilize specific patterns of modified nucleotides to improve in vivo stability and efficacy. They can be administered through pharmaceutical compositions to treat liver diseases, fibrosis, hyperprolific disorders, cancers, and diseases resulting from abnormal gene expression.

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 170+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of modified nucleotide therapies.

Key players in modified nucleotide therapies – 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 modified nucleotide therapies

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Ionis Pharmaceuticals 1479 Unlock Company Profile
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals 809 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 349 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Shinyaku 223 Unlock Company Profile
Sanofi 220 Unlock Company Profile
Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals 217 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 149 Unlock Company Profile
ProQR Therapeutics 144 Unlock Company Profile
Pfizer 129 Unlock Company Profile
Wave Life Sciences 120 Unlock Company Profile
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory 110 Unlock Company Profile
Regulus Therapeutics 103 Unlock Company Profile
Biogen 93 Unlock Company Profile
Nogra Two 91 Unlock Company Profile
Avidity Biosciences 89 Unlock Company Profile
Arbutus Biopharma 75 Unlock Company Profile
Sarepta Therapeutics 73 Unlock Company Profile
Daiichi Sankyo 69 Unlock Company Profile
Bio-Path 69 Unlock Company Profile
Novartis 68 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 65 Unlock Company Profile
OPKO Health 65 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 61 Unlock Company Profile
Antisense Therapeutics 61 Unlock Company Profile
National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry 58 Unlock Company Profile
Stoke Therapeutics 56 Unlock Company Profile
Amgen 48 Unlock Company Profile
Neurovision Pharma 46 Unlock Company Profile
Silence Therapeutics 44 Unlock Company Profile
Exicure 39 Unlock Company Profile
Secarna Pharmaceuticals 38 Unlock Company Profile
GSK 35 Unlock Company Profile
IVERIC bio 35 Unlock Company Profile
Bristol-Myers Squibb 35 Unlock Company Profile
Dynavax Technologies 35 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 34 Unlock Company Profile
General Hospital 32 Unlock Company Profile
Massachusetts General Hospital 30 Unlock Company Profile
Aligos Therapeutics 28 Unlock Company Profile
Biomarin Technologies 27 Unlock Company Profile
OPKO CURNA 27 Unlock Company Profile
Phio Pharmaceuticals 26 Unlock Company Profile
Codiak BioSciences 25 Unlock Company Profile
Dyne Therapeutics 24 Unlock Company Profile
Nitto Denko 24 Unlock Company Profile
Triplet Therapeutics 23 Unlock Company Profile
Pharma Mar 23 Unlock Company Profile
InDex Pharmaceuticals 22 Unlock Company Profile
NEW HOPE, CITY OF 21 Unlock Company Profile
Intellia Therapeutics 21 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Ionis Pharmaceuticals is one of the leading patent filers in modified nucleotide therapies. The company has approximately 50 drugs, which are modified nucleotide therapies. The lead assets are inotersen, volanesorsen, donidalorsen, and eplontersen, among others, with major focus on central nervous system (CNS) and genetic disorders.

In terms of application diversity, Opko CURNA leads the pack, while NeuroVision Pharma and Pfizer stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Nippon Shinyaku held the top position, followed by NeuroVision Pharma and Arbutus Biopharma.

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.