Research in many fields today is characterized by rapid evolution, interdisciplinary approaches, global collaborations, and intricacies in funding. It is challenging enough to make effective predictions about emerging technologies, and an added layer of challenge is navigating a path toward commercial success as novel technologies, tools, and innovations born from new research findings are introduced into the market. 

A lens on next-generation sequencing 

Lauren Black, Product Specialist Manager at Dimensions, wanted to explore the connections between funding and patents by exploring the disruptive, highly venture capital-backed market segment of next-generation sequencing (NGS).

Next-generation sequencing, or NGS, is the catch-all term encompassing a range of modern sequencing methods that enable the rapid and cost-effective analysis of DNA and RNA, revolutionizing the pace of discovery in fields ranging from molecular biology to genomics. “Next-generation sequencing technology has fundamentally changed the kinds of questions scientists can ask and answer. Moreover, innovative sample preparation and data analysis options have enabled a broad range of applications,” says Black. “From sequencing cancer samples to study rare somatic variants and tumor subclones to studying the human microbiome and identifying novel pathogens, the range of applications for NGS is only growing,” says Black. Among the NGS technologies in use today are short-read and long-read sequencing. The critical difference between NGS and older sequencing methods, such as Sanger, is the sequencing volume. NGS can sequence millions of fragments simultaneously per run. This process translates into sequencing hundreds to thousands of genes at one time.

Gaining market intelligence

The global NGS market’s financial trajectory has been as remarkable as its technological journey. Estimated to be worth $13 billion in 2022, it is projected to grow to $27 billion by 2027. As the sector continues innovating, it becomes imperative to understand how market intelligence and competitive insights can provide a significant edge. Using the Dimensions Landscape and Discovery app, Black could tap into information covering 138 million scientific publications, as well as patents and clinical trial documents, and access to information on six million grants worth more than $2.3 trillion from 671 funders worldwide. “When it comes to NGS, Dimensions data unveils the dynamics of financial support from both private and public funders and shows that grants began surfacing around 2008-2009 for research on both short and long-read sequencing techniques,” says Black.

Patent information covered in the Dimensions database is powered by IFI Claims (154 million+ patents).

“Interestingly, the data shows that NGS-related patent filings typically commenced approximately 5 years after funding was first granted,” says Black. “These are the kinds of insights that could aid in predicting the trajectory of emerging technologies, enabling companies to better strategize their patent applications and market entry,” she adds.

Finger on the pulse

“Integrating funding data with patent timelines is a way to have your finger on the pulse, so to speak, and get a headstart with intellectual property insights,” says Black. “By monitoring the transformation of funding into patents, businesses can anticipate the next moves of key players,” she adds. For example, data drawn shows that Guardant, a key player in the NGS segment today, entered the market in 2016.

“The Dimensions Landscape and Discovery app can condense the vast sea of data into actionable insights. It allows organizations to swiftly identify recently awarded grants, the funders, and recipients, and this information can be used to understand the developments in nascent and established research fields,” explains Black. Dimensions’ advanced search and filtering capabilities enable users to pinpoint when grants were awarded, where funds were allocated geographically, which entities secured successful grant applications, and if there’s a correlation between these factors. “This granularity not only saves time but significantly enhances the quality of results,” she adds. “Through Dimensions, users don’t merely stay informed, they are primed to remain one step ahead in rapidly evolving research landscapes.”

Dimensions Landscape and Discovery app has been developed to easily analyze any topic, explore complex insights in seconds, and gain an in-depth snapshot of the research area of interest, including information about funding and patents. 

For more information on Dimensions Landscape and Discovery app, visit the product page.