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-finger nucleases.
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-finger nucleases is a key innovation area in pharmaceutical
Zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs) are tools used in genetic engineering to cleave a chosen genomic sequence. It is a chimeric endonuclease, which consists of a custom-designed ZF DNA-binding domain and the non-specific nuclease domain from the FokI restriction enzyme. ZFNs are also used to create a new generation of genetic disease models called isogenic human disease models. They are the smallest type of programmable nuclease.
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 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established pharmaceutical companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of zinc-finger nucleases.
Key players in zinc-finger nucleases – 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 zinc-finger nucleases
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Sangamo Therapeutics||793||Unlock company profile|
|E. Merck||202||Unlock company profile|
|Massachusetts General Hospital||162||Unlock company profile|
|Cellectis||124||Unlock company profile|
|Corteva||111||Unlock company profile|
|Beam Therapeutics||80||Unlock company profile|
|General Hospital||70||Unlock company profile|
|bluebird bio||67||Unlock company profile|
|Factor Bioscience||62||Unlock company profile|
|Caribou Biosciences||51||Unlock company profile|
|Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center||49||Unlock company profile|
|ToolGen||43||Unlock company profile|
|Jackson ImmunoResearch Laboratories||36||Unlock company profile|
|Precigen||35||Unlock company profile|
|Modalis Therapeutics||25||Unlock company profile|
|Intima Bioscience||25||Unlock company profile|
|TargetGene Biotechnologies||24||Unlock company profile|
|Children's Medical Center||22||Unlock company profile|
|Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres||21||Unlock company profile|
|Poseida Therapeutics||19||Unlock company profile|
|New England Biolabs||19||Unlock company profile|
|Neutrolis||18||Unlock company profile|
|Bio-Techne||18||Unlock company profile|
|CRISPR Therapeutics||17||Unlock company profile|
|Fondazione Telethon||15||Unlock company profile|
|IRCCS Policlinico San Donato||14||Unlock company profile|
|Generation Bio||14||Unlock company profile|
|KSQ Therapeutics||14||Unlock company profile|
|BASF||14||Unlock company profile|
|ElevateBio||13||Unlock company profile|
|Intellia Therapeutics||13||Unlock company profile|
|Algentech||13||Unlock company profile|
|Precision Biosciences||13||Unlock company profile|
|Advanced Gene & Cell Technologies (AGCT)||13||Unlock company profile|
|G+FLAS Life Sciences||12||Unlock company profile|
|Editas Medicine||12||Unlock company profile|
|Mayo Clinic||12||Unlock company profile|
|Keygene||11||Unlock company profile|
|Feldan Therapeutics||11||Unlock company profile|
|Genetether||10||Unlock company profile|
|C. H. Boehringer Sohn||10||Unlock company profile|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||10||Unlock company profile|
|Spotlight Therapeutics||9||Unlock company profile|
|International Flavors & Fragrances||8||Unlock company profile|
|Bio-Rad Laboratories||8||Unlock company profile|
|National Cancer Center||8||Unlock company profile|
|TotalEnergies||8||Unlock company profile|
|Minapharm Pharmaceuticals||7||Unlock company profile|
|Locanabio||7||Unlock company profile|
|Aadigen||7||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Sangamo Therapeutics is the leading patent holder for zinc-finger nucleases. By using its proprietary zinc finger platform, the company is engaged in the development of various pipeline candidates. The company's lead asset involving this technology is isaralgagene civaparvovec (ST 920). The company’s R&D is also focused on drugs for central nervous system, infections and genetic disorders. Furthermore, it is exploring various options for multiple other therapy areas and has filed several patents based on zinc finger nucleases.
In terms of application diversity, Factor Bioscience is the top company, followed by Precigen and Neutrolis. By means of geographic reach, Generation Bio holds the top position. While Intellia Therapeutics and Jackson ImmunoResearch Laboratories 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.