An analysis of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved new molecular entities (NMEs) reveals dynamism in terms of new innovation. An assessment of the first patent for each drug shows that the pharmaceutical industry, particularly large, established companies in North America, tend to dominate the field. Over the past 10-15 years, European and Asian organizations have begun to close the gap. A dynamic inventive environment in drug discovery is suggested by the fact that NMEs for biologics or awarded to biotechnology companies often have inventors from the pharmaceutical and academic sectors. Whereas inventors continue to found biotechnology companies at a steady rate, recent trends suggest these inventors more often come from the private sector.