ACS Drives Chemistry Patents

Patent 1Quality academic journals are the cornerstone supporting commercial innovation and scientific advance. Find out how ACS is driving corporate success and creating lucrative patents for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries…

“Sometimes, one small piece of chemical research published in a journal can power a research and development breakthrough that allows a company to make billions of dollars.”
Patents are a legal platform designed to reward innovation and encourage scientific advance, and they are big business. In 2014 there were over 615,000 patent applications in the US, including technological and manufacturing processes and novel pharmaceutical and biotech breakthroughs.

However, while spending on pharmaceutical research and development continues to increase, the number of drugs coming through to marketing approval is falling off. With many blockbuster drugs due to go off patent in the next few years, it is thought that only just over half of pharmaceutical companies have pipelines robust enough to offset the losses caused by the loss of market share to generics and biosimilars.

New technologies – even non-obvious, novel ones deserving of a patent – continuously build on published science and research. Developing a new drug is expensive and time-consuming, and at its heart pharmaceutical research and development relies on medicinal chemistry from academic libraries, both for target selection and the up-scaling of manufacturing technology. This prior art supports and informs research and patent applications, and there is a need to stay compliant when citing and using works.

For more information on how chemistry and patents work together, and information on maximizing your assets (and minimizing liabilities), sign up to receive our new whitepaper [link to LP with sign-up form].

  1. US Patent Statistics Chart, 1963–2014. Available at:
  2. PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Pharma 2020: Virtual R&D – Which path will you take? 2008.
  3. PhRMA. Biopharmaceutical Research & Development: The Process Behind New Medicines; 2015.
  4. Rydzewski. Real World Drug Discovery: A Chemist’s Guide to Biotech and Pharmaceutical Research. Elsevier Ltd; 2008.
  5. Verbeek et al. Linking science to technology: Using bibliographic references in patents to build linkage schemes. Scientometrics 2002;54(3):399–420.