Knowledge sources, patent protection, and commercialization of pharmaceutical innovations
This paper investigates different types of innovations (from radical to incremental) in the pharmaceutical industry by studying bibliometric data of drugs approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), looking at time-to-market aspects, knowledge sources of these innovations, and protection strategies. Scientific knowledge stemming from the public sector is found to be important for all innovations. Nevertheless, radical innovations build on a higher degree on basic research, and they build on a significantly higher share of own prior scientific research than do incremental innovations. Furthermore, each drug is shown to be accompanied by, on average, about 19 journal publications and 23 additional patents. Additional patent filings peak when the commercialization of the drug is in reach. Firms do not differ among the various types of innovations regarding the amount of additional patent filings, but rather with the speed of filing these patents. Finally, this work contributes to the improvement of future econometric analyses that aim to link bibliometric indicators such as patent or publication counts to firm success.
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