When researchers talk, we marketers should listen.
I recently opened my Sunday New York Times to see a familiar face smiling back at me: Dr. Robert Langer, director of the Langer Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Langer was featured in an article about his lab's success in launching 25 companies and generating hundreds of patents (and careers) to treat many diseases, including the big three: cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Langer's lab is a shining example of the concept known as technology transfer, in which universities set up licensing offices to move their intellectual property from concept to commercialization, from bench to bedside.
The article caught my interest not just due to the subject matter, but because I had seen Langer 10 days before, delivering the keynote address at Acceleration 2012, an early stage life sciences conference in Boston that mainly featured the investment community. In his wide-ranging remarks, Langer recalled his years working with medical pioneer Judah Folkman on his research into tumor angiogenesis, the process by which a tumor attracts blood vessels to nourish itself and sustain its existence. Their work has spawned myriad anti-angiogenesis therapies for cancer, macular degeneration and other diseases – as well as continued research into angiogenesis in hundreds of labs around the world.