The medical devices industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by increased need for homecare, preventative treatments, early diagnosis, reducing patient recovery times and improving outcomes, as well as a growing importance of technologies such as machine learning, augmented reality, 5G and digitalization. In the last three years alone, there have been over 710,000 patents filed and granted in the medical devices industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in medical: microneedle drug delivery. Buy the report here.
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.
30+ innovations will shape the medical devices industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the medical devices industry using innovation intensity models built on over 155,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, neuromodulation implants, shapeable guide catheters, and biopotential signal monitoring are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Fall detection monitoring, ingestible sensors, and biofeedback wearables are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are CPR assistance devices and bioabsorbable coated implants, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the medical devices industry
Microneedle-based drug delivery is a key innovation area in the medical devices industry
Microneedles are used for painless transdermal delivery of difficult-to-formulate therapeutics, including proteins, peptides, vaccines, and genetic material. They can penetrate the stratum corneum and build channels that allow the administration of the sufficient drug to induce the desired therapeutic response. They are mostly made of glass, silicon, metals, carbohydrates and polymers.
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 medical devices companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of microneedle-based drug delivery.
Key players in microneedle-based drug delivery – a disruptive innovation in the medical devices 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 microneedle-based drug delivery
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Sorrento Therapeutics Inc||217||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kimberly-Clark Corp||127||Unlock Company Profile|
|Clearside BioMedical Inc||77||Unlock Company Profile|
|Becton Dickinson and Co||77||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toppan Inc||66||Unlock Company Profile|
|Srgi Holdings, LLC||64||Unlock Company Profile|
|3M Co||46||Unlock Company Profile|
|Waypoint Capital Holdings (Jersey) Ltd||42||Unlock Company Profile|
|Debiotech SA||28||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hisamitsu Pharmaceutical Co Inc||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|Novo Nordisk Foundation||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Crown Laboratories Inc||18||Unlock Company Profile|
|Jeisys Medical Inc||17||Unlock Company Profile|
|Amorepacific Group Inc||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Eveon SAS||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Puretech Health Plc||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Aquavit Pharmaceuticals Inc||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|New World Pharmaceuticals LLC||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Teijin Ltd||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Pilogics LLP||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Altaris Capital Partners LLC||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|LTS Lohmann Therapie-Systeme AG||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|MicroJet Technology Co Ltd||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|MEDRx Co Ltd||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Eclipse Aesthetics LLC||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sanofi||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|CosMED Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|NanoPass Technologies Ltd||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Jm Biotech Co Ltd||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Bomtech Electronics Co Ltd||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Raphas Co Ltd||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Honeywell International Inc||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Pathak Holdings LLC||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Genesis Biosystems, Inc.||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|AptarGroup Inc||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Virginia Tech Intellectual Property||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sandia Corporation||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|GAE Ltd||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Corium Pharma Solutions Inc||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Lutronic Corp||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|L'Oreal SA||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|DEKA Research and Development Corp||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Incyto Co Ltd||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mayo Clinic||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Lohmann & Rauscher International GmbH & Co KG||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Agnes Medical Co Ltd||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|21 Century Medical Co Ltd||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Daewoong Co Ltd||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|U-Bio Med Inc.||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|SB MED Inc||1||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Sorrento Therapeutics is the leading patent filer in the field of microneedle-based drug delivery. Some other key patent filers in the field include, Kimberly Clark, Becton Dickinson, and Clearside Biomedical.
In terms of application diversity, Srgi Holdings leads the pack, followed by Pilogics and Honeywell International. By geographic reach, Clearside BioMedical holds the top position, followed by Sorrento Therapeutics and Waypoint Capital in second and third spots, respectively.
Compared to the conventional method of drug delivery, microneedle delivery is proving to be more effective and safer as they deliver drugs to the target cells in a very precise manner. The demand for these devices is bound to grow owing to the advantages such as accurate dosage, intricate release patterns, local delivery, and improved biological drug stability.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the medical devices industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Medical Devices.