5 Pharmaceutical Trends in 2020

Lisa Wright,

The global pharmaceutical industry is responsible for the research, development, production and marketing of medicines. Today the pharma industry is booming. As of 2018 the total global pharmaceutical market was valued at about 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars and has seen an exponential growth since 2001, when it was valued at some 390 billion U.S. dollars. It is expected to exceed 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars by 2023.

The industry has always been quick to respond to disruption by technological advances and global demand for certain medications. Today it is working hard to rise to many new challenges, but top of the list of 2020 priorities for many pharmaceutical companies is the discovery of a treatment for the new pandemic that is sweeping across the globe. 

We take a look at five factors that are shaping the pharmaceutical industry today:

  • Supply chain management
  • Climate change
  • AI and the cloud
  • Cross-industry and enterprise collaborations
  • Innovation in the infectious disease landscape

Supply chain management

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused a massive ripple effect in supply chain management across the world. Many pharmaceutical companies, like GSK, Pfizer and Merck are now racing to find a vaccine against this virus. However the many travel and production restrictions brought about by the virus have led many, both inside and outside the pharma industry, to the realization that there is a need in the future to re-distribute the pharmaceutical global supply chain in order to insure against shortages of certain equipment and medicines.

In the meantime China and India are two of the world’s largest pharmaceutical exporters today and are both working hard today to supply the international community under difficult conditions. While many countries depend on China for supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other antivirus gear during the Covid-19 outbreak, such as masks, gowns and tests kits, India remains the world's top export of so-called 'generics', such as paracetamol and the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine which is being tested as a possible treatment for Covid-19. 

Swiss Pharma PVT Ltd is one such Indian manufacturers of anti-malarial drugs and is now one of the fastest growing pharmaceutical companies in India, with its own manufacturing facility in Vatva, Ahmedabad. At the time of writing, our business intelligence tool Portfolio Analyzer reveals that Swiss Pharma PVT Ltd holds over 30 live marks and all were filed in India’s IPI. 

Another leading pharmaceutical company which has its headquarters in India is Emcure. The company currently spreads its manufacturing over 11 world-class manufacturing facilities globally. Emcure Pharmaceuticals Limited owns over 1,700 live trademarks and has filed most in three registries: India’s IPI (74.5%), Vietnam’s NOIP (4.2%) and Philippines IPOPHL (2.8%).

Climate change

One sector that will be essential to humanity’s ability to cope with climate change in the near future is the pharmaceutical industry. In February 2018, WHO released a report on climate change and health and the findings were not easy reading. To quote:

  • Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.
  • Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250,000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.
  • The direct damage costs to health (i.e. excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between USD 2-4 billion/year by 2030.

  • Areas with weak health infrastructure – mostly in developing countries – will be the least able to cope without assistance to prepare and respond.

Europe will be a significant growth market because tropical diseases which have previously not been prevalent in the Continent due to its cooler temperature will rapidly become an issue that needs solving through vaccines and treatment drugs. A recent report by Morgan Stanley estimates that between $50 billion to $100 billion worth of vaccines will be needed by 2050 to fight mosquito-spread diseases such as Zika, dengue, and yellow fever. The report cites 7 major Pharma players in the fight against tropical diseases brought on by climate change.

We took a look at their trademark portfolios to find out a little more about their trademark activity and which is their preferred registry to file with today!

  • Sanofi has more than 53 thousand live trademarks, with some 3 thousand marks (5.7%)  filed in Paraguay’s DINAPI
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) PLC has over 60 thousand live trademarks, with over 2 thousand registered with the United Kingdom’s IPO (3.7%)
  • Moderna Therapeutics, Inc has over 50 live marks and the top registry is Singapore’s IPOS 
  • Takeda has over 18 thousand live marks and the top registry is Japanese JPO. 
  • Merck has more than 38 thousand live trademarks, with over 1000 thousand marks filed in Mexico’s IMPO
  • Janssen (subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson) has over 3000 thousand live trademarks, with over 1.5 thousand registered with WIPO (42%)
  • Pfizer has over 44 thousand live marks and the top registries are INDECOPI (Peru) and  JPO (Japan)

And the need will keep going well into this century, with an estimated one billion more people than today being exposed to tropical diseases.

World IP Day 2020

World IP Day 2020, led by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), was held on April 26th and touched on the issue of climate change and marked the importance of rights when it comes to creativity and innovation in building a greener world, with the overarching theme this year to “Innovate for a Green Future.”  TrademarkNow helps to promote the green theme with our new, on demand webinar “How Technology Streamlines Trademark Processes In Remote Work.” 

Why not watch our webinar and discover how to go green in your work and make the move to paperless trademark management. 

Sign up for our free webinar
Understanding Bad Faith in EU Trademark Law


AI and the cloud

To boost operational efficiency and deliver scientific insights across research and development, production, as well as commercial operations, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly turning to AI technology and the cloud. A full set of pharma-in-use data and clinical trials (including IMS Health, POCA (FDA), INN and USAN data) is available on the TrademarkNow platform for trademark professionals.

Using centralized and standardized data can both increase the speed of innovation and decrease issues in pharma management. And, when AI is added to the mix to analyze and you gain insights from that data, many more things are improved. Research and development is speeded up, clinical trials are optimized and new pharma brand names are cleared and launched onto the market faster.

Cross-industry and enterprise collaborations

Cross-industry and enterprise collaborations can be seen all over the world today with many companies (and individuals) pivoting to manufacture and ship much needed PPE equipment to domestic healthcare professionals, as well as all over the world, at the request of their governments. 

US company Flowfold, which is best known for its wallets made of recycled sailcloth, is now producing thousands of face shields per day for doctors and nurses. The COO of Flowfold, James Morin, told Business Insider that  “he and his co-owners realized that face shields were a relatively easy product for them to pivot to, but that they would struggle when it came to creating apparel. So they partnered with another Maine company called American Roots — which usually specializes in fleece products — to create gowns, masks, and shoe covers”.

In the UK, Imperial Polythene, a plastics company that usually makes industrial waste bags, has now turned its production to making protective aprons for medical staff.

The pharma industry is also collaborating in new ways today when it comes to research and development in order to come up with new vaccines and treatments against Covid-19 as quickly as possible. An example of this can be seen in the recent collaboration of American multinational pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer and the German company Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech), which is a next generation immunotherapy company pioneering novel therapies for cancer and other serious diseases. 

Pfizer and BioNTech are jointly developing a possible vaccine BNT162. During the clinical development stage, BioNTech will provide its partner’s clinical supply of the vaccine from its GMP-certified mRNA manufacturing facilities in Europe. BioNTech is, in turn, collaborating with Shanghai based Chinese company Fosun Pharma to develop BNT162 in China, where the companies expect to conduct trials.

Innovation in the infectious disease landscape

An analysis of trademark activity, as a result of increased innovation in the Pharma industry around infectious diseases and treatment approval for Covid-19, shows some interesting trends. When running a search in our preliminary trademark search tool, ExaMatch under the product description “COVID” at the time of writing, we found that over 130 trademark applications have been filed, with the very first trademark LIVIMMUNE lodged by the owner CytoDyn Inc on January 8th 2020 with the USPTO, in Nice Classes 5 (Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies), 42 (Research and Development) and 44 (Medical, Cosmetic and Agricultural Services) .

The top 3 registries where COVID applications have been filed are the United States USPTO (85.4%), followed by Canada’s CIPO (4.4%) and the European Union’s EUIPO (2.2%). The top 3 products are all found in Nice Class 5 and interestingly are listed as “Pharmaceuticals for veterinary use”, “Diagnostic reagents for medical use” and “Pharmaceutical preparations for the prevention of autoimmune diseases”. 

The top three owners are all American: Sorrento Therapeutics, Inc., Kantaro Biosciences, LLC and LIFE EXTENSION INSTITUTE, Inc.

Pharma looking to buck the pandession trend  

Irish economist David McWilliams has coined a new expression for the economic recession that the world is facing as a result of Covid-19 - “pandession”. Economies around the world are all suffering from the impact of Covid-19. Many businesses are now experiencing significant losses, many workers are now without jobs and many of us face the challenge of a total lifestyle upheaval. 

However, the pharmaceutical companies taking center stage in the Covid-19 fight, such as Gilead and Lilly, are seeing positive growth on the stock market. And, in a recent edition of The Irish Times, McWilliams advocates taking a punt on Pharma shares - as many are seen by him as an excellent investment!

Take the TrademarkNow tour

Whether you are looking to get data insights into the Pharma industry for your investment portfolio with our new business intelligence tool Portfolio Analyzer or would like to be able to run an instant preliminary trademark search of a new brand name using ExaMatch or clear your pharma brand names with the assistance of NameCheck we can help! 

We prepared a quick 2 minute tour of the TrademarkNow platform for you below. Take our tour today and find out how our second generation AI trademark search, watch and business intelligence tools can help your business to succeed in 2020! 

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