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: phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK-1) inhibitors. 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

PDK-1 inhibitors is a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry

Phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK-1) inhibitors are a class of compounds designed to target and inhibit the activity of PDK-1, a protein kinase that plays a crucial role in regulating cell signaling pathways. PDK-1 is part of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway, which is involved in cell growth, proliferation, and survival. Inhibiting PDK-1 activity can have therapeutic potential, particularly in the context of cancer and other diseases where dysregulated cell signaling contributes to the disease pathogenesis.

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 110+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of PDK-1 inhibitors.

Key players in PDK-1 inhibitors – 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 PDK-1 inhibitors

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 196 Unlock Company Profile
Vertex Pharmaceuticals 166 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 121 Unlock Company Profile
Arbutus Biopharma 111 Unlock Company Profile
HEC Pharm Group 104 Unlock Company Profile
Pfizer 103 Unlock Company Profile
Betta Pharmaceuticals 70 Unlock Company Profile
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals 54 Unlock Company Profile
Kirin 52 Unlock Company Profile
Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine 51 Unlock Company Profile
Cancer Research UK 45 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Scitech-MQ Pharmaceuticals 44 Unlock Company Profile
Daiichi Sankyo 40 Unlock Company Profile
C. H. Boehringer Sohn 36 Unlock Company Profile
BioMarin Pharmaceutical 32 Unlock Company Profile
Incyte 30 Unlock Company Profile
Triphase Accelerator 29 Unlock Company Profile
Actuate Therapeutics 28 Unlock Company Profile
Eli Lilly 28 Unlock Company Profile
AbbVie 27 Unlock Company Profile
Hanmi Science 27 Unlock Company Profile
Pierre Fabre Foundation 27 Unlock Company Profile
Bristol-Myers Squibb 25 Unlock Company Profile
Ipsen 23 Unlock Company Profile
Merck 22 Unlock Company Profile
Capella Therapeutics 22 Unlock Company Profile
Capulus Therapeutics 21 Unlock Company Profile
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries 21 Unlock Company Profile
Raze Therapeutics 20 Unlock Company Profile
Swiss Rockets 19 Unlock Company Profile
Zydus Lifesciences 18 Unlock Company Profile
TransThera Sciences (Nanjing) 18 Unlock Company Profile
Forma Therapeutics 18 Unlock Company Profile
TaiRx 17 Unlock Company Profile
PIQUR Therapeutics 16 Unlock Company Profile
Amgen 15 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer Pharma (Bayer Schering Pharma) 15 Unlock Company Profile
Tetranov International 15 Unlock Company Profile
Zhejiang Beta Pharma 14 Unlock Company Profile
Skyhawk Therapeutics 13 Unlock Company Profile
Beta Pharma 13 Unlock Company Profile
ExonHit Therapeutics 13 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Chemical 13 Unlock Company Profile
Strides Pharma Science 13 Unlock Company Profile
Infinity Pharmaceuticals 13 Unlock Company Profile
AstraZeneca 12 Unlock Company Profile
AB Pharma 12 Unlock Company Profile
Gvk Davix Technologies 12 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 11 Unlock Company Profile
E. Merck 10 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

F. Hoffmann-La Roche is one of the leading patent filers in PDK-1 inhibitors. F. Hoffmann-La Roche, commonly known as Roche, is a pharmaceutical company that has been involved in the development of kinase inhibitors, a class of drugs that target specific protein kinases involved in various cellular signaling pathways. Vemurafenib is a kinase inhibitor developed by Roche in collaboration with Plexxikon. It is used to treat patients with melanoma, whose tumors have a specific mutation in the BRAF gene known as the V600E mutation. Cobimetinib is another kinase inhibitor developed by Roche and Exelixis. Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson are some of the other key patent filers in PDK-1 inhibitors.

In terms of application diversity, Pierre Fabre Foundation leads the pack, while Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Arbutus Biopharma stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Arbutus Biopharma held the top position, followed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.

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.