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: protein affinity chromatography. 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

Protein affinity chromatography is a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry

Protein affinity chromatography is a powerful technique used to separate and purify proteins based on their specific interactions with immobilized ligands or molecules. The technique exploits the binding affinity between a target protein and a ligand that is covalently attached to a solid support matrix. Protein affinity chromatography is widely used in biochemical research, biotechnology, and the pharmaceutical industry for the isolation and purification of specific proteins.

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 120+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of protein affinity chromatography.

Key players in protein affinity chromatography – 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 protein affinity chromatography

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 452 Unlock Company Profile
E. Merck 257 Unlock Company Profile
Sanofi 173 Unlock Company Profile
Danaher 151 Unlock Company Profile
AbbVie 131 Unlock Company Profile
GE HealthCare Technologies 125 Unlock Company Profile
Amgen 81 Unlock Company Profile
Octapharma 80 Unlock Company Profile
GSK 76 Unlock Company Profile
Bristol-Myers Squibb 61 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 57 Unlock Company Profile
UCB 56 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 49 Unlock Company Profile
Daicel 44 Unlock Company Profile
Novartis 37 Unlock Company Profile
C. H. Boehringer Sohn 33 Unlock Company Profile
Takeda Pharmaceutical 33 Unlock Company Profile
JSR 33 Unlock Company Profile
The Lundbeck Foundation 27 Unlock Company Profile
Repligen 26 Unlock Company Profile
GC 26 Unlock Company Profile
LFB 25 Unlock Company Profile
UV-Cap 25 Unlock Company Profile
Hanmi Science 23 Unlock Company Profile
JETEMA 23 Unlock Company Profile
Genclis 22 Unlock Company Profile
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries 21 Unlock Company Profile
Glanbia 21 Unlock Company Profile
British American Tobacco 21 Unlock Company Profile
Nanopareil 20 Unlock Company Profile
Adimab 19 Unlock Company Profile
Sartorius 18 Unlock Company Profile
JNC 16 Unlock Company Profile
Shilpa Medicare 16 Unlock Company Profile
Mike-Ann 16 Unlock Company Profile
United Therapeutics 15 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm 15 Unlock Company Profile
Kashiv BioSciences 15 Unlock Company Profile
Xenetic Biosciences 15 Unlock Company Profile
Unichem Laboratories 13 Unlock Company Profile
TeraPore Technologies 12 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 12 Unlock Company Profile
Porvair 12 Unlock Company Profile
Hybio Pharmaceutical 12 Unlock Company Profile
Daiichi Sankyo 11 Unlock Company Profile
Medytox 11 Unlock Company Profile
Waters 11 Unlock Company Profile
Amicogen 10 Unlock Company Profile
Aeglea BioTherapeutics 10 Unlock Company Profile
W. L. Gore & Associates 10 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

F. Hoffmann-La Roche is one of the leading patent filers in protein affinity chromatography. Roche is involved in the development of diagnostic tests and technologies, as well as research and development in the field of biotechnology and drug discovery. While Roche is not primarily a manufacturer of chromatography resins or columns, they utilize protein affinity chromatography in their research and development processes, especially in the purification and characterization of proteins for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. E. Merck and Sanofi are some of the other key patent filers in protein affinity chromatography.

In terms of application diversity, Nanopareil leads the pack, while Porvair and Genclis stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Sanofi held the top position, followed by AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson.

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.