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: second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase (SMAC) mimetic peptides. 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

SMAC mimetic peptides is a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry

SMAC (Second Mitochondria-Derived Activator of Caspases) mimetic peptides are synthetic compounds designed to mimic the actions of the endogenous protein SMAC/DIABLO (Direct IAP-Binding Protein with Low pI). These peptides have gained significant attention in cancer research and the development of potential cancer therapies due to their role in regulating cell death and apoptosis. They can bind to IAPs, specifically targeting proteins such as XIAP (X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein), cIAP1 (cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein 1), and cIAP2 (cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein 2).

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 740+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of SMAC mimetic peptides.

Key players in SMAC mimetic peptides – 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 SMAC mimetic peptides

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Immatics 1755 Unlock Company Profile
Philip Morris International 441 Unlock Company Profile
F. Hoffmann-La Roche 432 Unlock Company Profile
Bristol-Myers Squibb 408 Unlock Company Profile
Seagen 349 Unlock Company Profile
OncoTherapy Science 308 Unlock Company Profile
Bicycle Therapeutics 297 Unlock Company Profile
Protagonist Therapeutics 297 Unlock Company Profile
Takeda Pharmaceutical 273 Unlock Company Profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 234 Unlock Company Profile
Amgen 219 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson & Johnson 194 Unlock Company Profile
Royal Caribbean Cruises 184 Unlock Company Profile
Apellis Pharmaceuticals 180 Unlock Company Profile
Merck 161 Unlock Company Profile
Caregen 149 Unlock Company Profile
Ironwood Pharmaceuticals 140 Unlock Company Profile
Ferring 132 Unlock Company Profile
Aileron Therapeutics 131 Unlock Company Profile
Ambrx Biopharma 128 Unlock Company Profile
Baxter International 120 Unlock Company Profile
GemVax & KAEL 120 Unlock Company Profile
UCB 115 Unlock Company Profile
Vertex Pharmaceuticals 113 Unlock Company Profile
Palatin Technologies 112 Unlock Company Profile
Ipsen 107 Unlock Company Profile
Pfizer 107 Unlock Company Profile
Forschungszentrum Julich 97 Unlock Company Profile
Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore 95 Unlock Company Profile
Shanghai Techwell Biopharmaceutical 94 Unlock Company Profile
3-D Matrix 94 Unlock Company Profile
Pierre Fabre Foundation 89 Unlock Company Profile
Sanofi 89 Unlock Company Profile
Agios Pharmaceuticals 83 Unlock Company Profile
Apitope International 83 Unlock Company Profile
Pharma Mar 80 Unlock Company Profile
Novo Nordisk Foundation 80 Unlock Company Profile
Novabiotics 79 Unlock Company Profile
Equillium 78 Unlock Company Profile
Zealand Pharma 76 Unlock Company Profile
Astellas Pharma 71 Unlock Company Profile
MorphoSys 71 Unlock Company Profile
Zymeworks 70 Unlock Company Profile
The Administrators of The Tulane Educational Fund 69 Unlock Company Profile
AstraZeneca 65 Unlock Company Profile
Heidelberg Pharma 65 Unlock Company Profile
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne 64 Unlock Company Profile
Biocon 62 Unlock Company Profile
Autoimmune Technologies 61 Unlock Company Profile
Niox Group 59 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Immatics is one of the leading patent filers in SMAC mimetic peptides. Also known as Immatics Biotechnologies, Immatics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. The company specializes in the field of T-cell receptor (TCR) therapies and cancer immunotherapy. Immatics is known for its efforts to harness the power of the immune system to target and combat cancer cells. Philip Morris International and F. Hoffmann-La Roche are some of the other key patent filers in SMAC mimetic peptides.

In terms of application diversity, Agios Pharmaceuticals leads the pack, while 3-D Matrix and Autoimmune Technologies stood in second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Pierre Fabre Foundation held the top position, followed by Royal Caribbean Cruises and Immatics.

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.