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: multi-functional skin compositions. 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

Multi-functional skin compositions is a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry

Multi-functional skin compositions are skincare products that offer multiple benefits to the skin. These compositions are designed to address various skin concerns and provide a comprehensive solution for individuals seeking an all-in-one skincare product. These products are formulated with a combination of active ingredients that target specific skin issues such as dryness, dullness, uneven texture, and signs of aging. Common ingredients found in multi-functional skin compositions include hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, retinol, peptides, and botanical extracts. In addition to addressing specific skin concerns, multi-functional skin compositions often offer additional benefits such as sun protection and moisturization.

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 240+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of multi-functional skin compositions.

Key players in multi-functional skin compositions – 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 multi-functional skin compositions

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
AbbVie 482 Unlock Company Profile
Merz PharmaaA 183 Unlock Company Profile
Mary Kay 180 Unlock Company Profile
Amorepacific Group 150 Unlock Company Profile
Shiseido 121 Unlock Company Profile
Symrise 119 Unlock Company Profile
Galderma Research and Development 78 Unlock Company Profile
Shionogi & 77 Unlock Company Profile
Teoxane 72 Unlock Company Profile
Revance Therapeutics 65 Unlock Company Profile
Laboratories Vivacy 64 Unlock Company Profile
Berkshire Hathaway 59 Unlock Company Profile
Endo International 54 Unlock Company Profile
POLA Orbis 53 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 52 Unlock Company Profile
Kao 48 Unlock Company Profile
Laboratoires Expanscience 43 Unlock Company Profile
Evolved by Nature 39 Unlock Company Profile
Factor Bioscience 38 Unlock Company Profile
LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton 34 Unlock Company Profile
Royal DSM 31 Unlock Company Profile
Bioxis Pharmaceuticals 29 Unlock Company Profile
Eirion Therapeutics 29 Unlock Company Profile
Opocrin 28 Unlock Company Profile
Natura & 28 Unlock Company Profile
VYNE Therapeutics 28 Unlock Company Profile
Medytox 27 Unlock Company Profile
Suneva Medical 26 Unlock Company Profile
Pierre Fabre Foundation 24 Unlock Company Profile
Aqtis IP 24 Unlock Company Profile
Professional Dietetics 24 Unlock Company Profile
Quorum Innovations 24 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer 23 Unlock Company Profile
Ipsen 22 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 22 Unlock Company Profile
TCI 22 Unlock Company Profile
Avera Health 21 Unlock Company Profile
Giuliani 20 Unlock Company Profile
Reckitt Benckiser Group 20 Unlock Company Profile
Akzo Nobel 20 Unlock Company Profile
LG 19 Unlock Company Profile
Q-Med 19 Unlock Company Profile
Cosmax 19 Unlock Company Profile
BMG Pharma 18 Unlock Company Profile
Noray Biosciences Group 17 Unlock Company Profile
Klox Technologies 16 Unlock Company Profile
Alfasigma 16 Unlock Company Profile
LEO Foundation 16 Unlock Company Profile
BASF 15 Unlock Company Profile
Labo Juversa 15 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

AbbVie is the leading patent filers in multi-functional skin compositions. Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company, develops, manufactures, and markets a portfolio of leading aesthetics brands and products. In 2023, Allergan Aesthetics gained approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Skinvive by Juvederm, marketed as the “first and only” hyaluronic acid intradermal microdroplet injection for skin smoothness. Merz Pharma and Mary Kay are some of the other key patent filers in multi-functional skin compositions.

In terms of application diversity, Klox Technologies leads the pack, while Natura and Bioxis Pharmaceuticals stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Revance Therapeutics held the top position, followed by Evolved by Nature and Factor Bioscience. 

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.