The pharmaceutical industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the evolution of new 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 633,000 patents filed and granted in the pharmaceutical industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Pharmaceuticals: Pyridine derivatives.

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 stabilising 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.

110 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 756,000 patents, there are 110 innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, cell therapy for ocular disorders, coronavirus vaccine components, and DNA polymerase compositions are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Adeno-associated virus vectors, alcohol dehydrogenase compositions, and antibody serum stabilisers are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are anti-influenza antibody compositions and anti-interleukin-1, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the pharmaceutical industry

Pyridine derivatives is a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry

Pyridine is a colourless/slightly yellow liquid with an alkalescence and  a strong and unpleasant fish-like odour. Pyridine derivatives contain one nitrogen atom in a six-membered aromatic ring and are the most extensively used heterocycles in the field of drug design, due to their promising effect on pharmacological activity, which has led to the discovery of numerous broad-spectrum therapeutic agents. The US FDA database has 95 approved pyridine derivatives, including isoniazid and ethionamide (tuberculosis), delavirdine (HIV/AIDS), abiraterone acetate (prostate cancer), and tacrine (Alzheimer’s).

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 pyridine derivatives.

Key players in pyridine derivatives – a disruptive innovation in the pharmaceutical industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to pyridine derivatives

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Bristol-Myers Squibb 146 Unlock company profile
Corteva 135 Unlock company profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 123 Unlock company profile
GSK 87 Unlock company profile
3B Future Holding 82 Unlock company profile
Amgen 80 Unlock company profile
Paratek Pharmaceuticals 78 Unlock company profile
Xenon Pharmaceuticals 66 Unlock company profile
Semiconductor Energy Laboratory 63 Unlock company profile
Bayer 53 Unlock company profile
Cytokinetics 53 Unlock company profile
Lundbeck Foundation 50 Unlock company profile
Merck & Co 47 Unlock company profile
NodThera 46 Unlock company profile
Takeda Pharmaceutical 44 Unlock company profile
CHDI Foundation 43 Unlock company profile
PTC Therapeutics 42 Unlock company profile
Ono Pharmaceutical 39 Unlock company profile
Zoetis 38 Unlock company profile
BASF 36 Unlock company profile
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals 36 Unlock company profile
Oryzon Genomics 35 Unlock company profile
China National Chemical 34 Unlock company profile
Gilead Sciences 33 Unlock company profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 32 Unlock company profile
Agios Pharmaceuticals 29 Unlock company profile
Adeka 26 Unlock company profile
Nippon Soda 26 Unlock company profile
Pfizer 24 Unlock company profile
Kissei Pharmaceutical 24 Unlock company profile
Abivax 20 Unlock company profile
Vectus Biosystems 20 Unlock company profile
Imago BioSciences 20 Unlock company profile
Obschestvo S Ogranichennoi Otvetstvennostiyu Pharmenterprises 20 Unlock company profile
Vertex Pharmaceuticals 20 Unlock company profile
C. H. Boehringer Sohn 19 Unlock company profile
MorphoSys 17 Unlock company profile
Shionogi & Co 17 Unlock company profile
DuPont de Nemours 15 Unlock company profile
BerGenBio 14 Unlock company profile
E. Merck 14 Unlock company profile
Vivace Therapeutics 13 Unlock company profile
Ligand Pharmaceuticals 13 Unlock company profile
Evotec 13 Unlock company profile
Leidos Holdings 12 Unlock company profile
Bionomics 12 Unlock company profile
Yumanity Therapeutics 11 Unlock company profile
Arbutus Biopharma 11 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 11 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) is one of the leading patent filers of pyridine derivatives. BMS is a specialty biopharmaceutical company that is engaged in the discovery, development, licensing and manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of medicines and related medical products to patients with serious diseases. Its primary focus is on oncology, cardiovascular, immunology, and fibrotic therapeutic projects. Sotyktu (deucravacitinib) is one of the company’s approved assets used for the treatment of autoimmune disorders.

In terms of application diversity, Johnson & Johnson is the top company, followed by BerGenBio and Novartis. By means of geographic reach, The Lundbeck Foundation holds the top position. Abivax and Bionomics are in second and third positions, respectively.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the pharmaceutical industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Pharmaceutical.


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.