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Who are the leading innovators in cancer immunotherapy for the pharmaceutical industry?

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 668,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the pharmaceutical industry, there are 80+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Cancer immunotherapy is a key innovation area in immuno-oncology

Cancer immunotherapy treats cancer by harnessing the body’s own immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells. Unlike traditional cancer treatments, immunotherapy works by boosting the immune system’s ability to identify and destroy cancer cells. Some of the approaches to cancer immunotherapy are monoclonal antibodies, immune checkpoint inhibitors, CAR-T cells, and cancer vaccines. Cancer immunotherapy has shown remarkable success in treating various types of cancers and has revolutionized cancer treatment in recent years.

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 cancer immunotherapy.

Key players in cancer immunotherapy – 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 cancer immunotherapy

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Immatics is is one of the leading patent filers in cancer immunotherapy. The biopharmaceutical company is focused on the development of T cell immunotherapies to fight against cancer. Immatics combines the discovery of targets for cancer immunotherapies with the development of the right T cell receptors with the goal of enabling a robust and specific T cell response against targets. It is committed to delivering the power of T cells and to unlocking new avenues for patients in their fight against cancer. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Fate Therapeutics are some of the other key patent filers in cancer immunotherapy.

In terms of application diversity, Gritstone Bio leads the pack, while Gilead Sciences and Tessa Therapeutics stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Immatics held the top position, followed by BioNTech and Gritstone Bio.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the pharmaceutical industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Immuno-oncology (IO)


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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.

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