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: Zinc-based medicinal compositions.

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

Zinc-based medicinal compositions is a key innovation area in the pharmaceutical industry

Zinc plays a key role in the formation of DNA, proteins, growth of cells, building the immune system, wound healing, blood clotting, thyroid function, and much more. Zinc deficiency leads to diseases such as anaemia, hypogonadism, short stature, impaired wound healing, and geophagia.

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 100+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of zinc-based medicinal compositions.

Key players in zinc-based medicinal compositions – an innovative area 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 zinc-based medicinal compositions

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Nestle 115 Unlock company profile
Warburton Technology 88 Unlock company profile
Johnson & Johnson 61 Unlock company profile
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique 49 Unlock company profile
Alfasigma 47 Unlock company profile
Valbiotis 41 Unlock company profile
SBI Holdings 37 Unlock company profile
Pfizer 32 Unlock company profile
Innolife 30 Unlock company profile
MetiMedi Pharmaceuticals 29 Unlock company profile
Giuliani 28 Unlock company profile
Medlab Clinical 25 Unlock company profile
Royal DSM 22 Unlock company profile
Laboratoires Thea 22 Unlock company profile
Myco Sciences 22 Unlock company profile
Original BioMedicals 20 Unlock company profile
3M 19 Unlock company profile
LG Bionano 18 Unlock company profile
Medesis Pharma 17 Unlock company profile
Noray Biosciences Group 17 Unlock company profile
Mars 17 Unlock company profile
ConvaTec Group 16 Unlock company profile
Pierre Fabre Foundation 15 Unlock company profile
Viatris 15 Unlock company profile
C. H. Boehringer Sohn 15 Unlock company profile
Invirsa 14 Unlock company profile
Fitorex Group 14 Unlock company profile
Ajinomoto 14 Unlock company profile
Salarius Pharmaceuticals 14 Unlock company profile
Bionos Biotech 13 Unlock company profile
Biogenesis Animal Health 13 Unlock company profile
Seattle Gummy Company 12 Unlock company profile
Laboratori Baldacci 12 Unlock company profile
Wiab Water Innovation 12 Unlock company profile
Kerry Group 12 Unlock company profile
Building Block Nutritionals 12 Unlock company profile
Insud Pharma 12 Unlock company profile
OPKO Health 12 Unlock company profile
Terumo 12 Unlock company profile
Cambridge Scientific 12 Unlock company profile
RVL Pharmaceuticals 12 Unlock company profile
Barlaa 12 Unlock company profile
GSK 11 Unlock company profile
Merz Pharma 11 Unlock company profile
Population Council 11 Unlock company profile
Dantrace-Danfeed Ivs 11 Unlock company profile
Megmilk Snow Brand 11 Unlock company profile
Bio Minerals 10 Unlock company profile
Soletluna Holdings 10 Unlock company profile
Housey Pharmaceutical Research Laboratories 10 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Warburton Technology is the leading patent holder for zinc-based medicinal compositions. The company is developing several zinc-based formulations and zinc complex drugs with a suitable shelf life and efficacy. It has also filed patents that cover the efficient extraction of zinc from various solvents for use in pharmaceutical preparations.
In terms of application diversity, Noray Biosciences Group is the top company, followed by Johnson & Johnson and Salarius Pharmaceuticals. By means of geographic reach, Valbiotis holds the top position. While Noray Biosciences Group and Viatris 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.