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 kinase 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

Protein kinase inhibitors is a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry

Protein kinase inhibitors are a class of pharmaceutical compounds that are designed to target and inhibit protein kinases. Protein kinase inhibitors work by blocking the activity of protein kinase enzymes that are involved in the regulation of cell growth, differentiation, metabolism, and signaling, making them important targets for the development of drugs to treat various diseases, especially cancer.

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 80+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of protein kinase inhibitors.

Key players in protein kinase 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 protein kinase inhibitors

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Bristol-Myers Squibb 318 Unlock Company Profile
Vertex Pharmaceuticals 225 Unlock Company Profile
Gilead Sciences 166 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Shinyaku 123 Unlock Company Profile
Pfizer 96 Unlock Company Profile
Novartis 77 Unlock Company Profile
Karyopharm Therapeutics 75 Unlock Company Profile
Astellas Pharma 68 Unlock Company Profile
Agios Pharmaceuticals 65 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 62 Unlock Company Profile
AstraZeneca 53 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 46 Unlock Company Profile
Incyte 43 Unlock Company Profile
Wellstat Management 41 Unlock Company Profile
Alembic Pharmaceuticals 41 Unlock Company Profile
Biogen 39 Unlock Company Profile
AbbVie 35 Unlock Company Profile
Oryzon Genomics 35 Unlock Company Profile
Revolution Medicines 27 Unlock Company Profile
Merck 25 Unlock Company Profile
Mallinckrodt 24 Unlock Company Profile
Karolinska Development 22 Unlock Company Profile
ESSA Pharma 21 Unlock Company Profile
Pulmokine 21 Unlock Company Profile
Takeda Pharmaceutical 21 Unlock Company Profile
Fujian Haixi Pharmaceuticals 19 Unlock Company Profile
Immunomet Therapeutics 18 Unlock Company Profile
Active Biotech 18 Unlock Company Profile
Galderma Research and Development 18 Unlock Company Profile
Otsuka 17 Unlock Company Profile
Arcus Biosciences 17 Unlock Company Profile
Bayer Pharma (Bayer Schering Pharma) 17 Unlock Company Profile
Madrigal Pharmaceuticals 16 Unlock Company Profile
Abbott Laboratories 16 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 15 Unlock Company Profile
Eli Lilly 14 Unlock Company Profile
Karus Therapeutics 14 Unlock Company Profile
Jiangsu Haosen Pharmaceutical Group 13 Unlock Company Profile
Nuvation Bio 12 Unlock Company Profile
Holley Performance Products 12 Unlock Company Profile
Perrigo 12 Unlock Company Profile
Kirin 12 Unlock Company Profile
Massachusetts General Hospital 10 Unlock Company Profile
Macrophage Pharma 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hansoh Pharmaceutical Group 10 Unlock Company Profile
Chroma Therapeutics 8 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Junshi Bioscience 8 Unlock Company Profile
Basilea Pharmaceutica 8 Unlock Company Profile
Sentinel Oncology 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 7 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) is one of the leading patent filers in protein kinase inhibitors. BMS is a global pharmaceutical company that has developed several protein kinase inhibitors as part of its pipeline portfolio. These inhibitors target specific protein kinases involved in various diseases, including cancer indications. In August 2022, BMS completed its acquisition of Turning Point Therapeutics, through which BMS gained a pipeline of investigational medicines designed to target the most common mutations associated with oncogenesis, including repotrectinib. Repotrectinib is a next-generation, potential best-in-class tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting the ROS1 and NTRK oncogenic drivers of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other advanced solid tumors. Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Gilead Sciences are some of the other key patent filers in protein kinase inhibitors.

In terms of application diversity, Shanghai Junshi Bioscience leads the pack, while Otsuka and Wellstat Management stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Karyopharm Therapeutics held the top position, followed by Agios Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

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.