Leading From The Lab: MIT’s Robert Langer On The Converging Science Of Drugs, Devices And Delivery
"If one has the essential ingredients of a good idea, a patent, data and some talented people, you can often start a company."
Ten years after our first encounter with MIT’s Robert Langer, In Vivo sits down with the polymath professor – arguably the most inventive and prolific life scientist of his generation – to identify key challenges in medicine.
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Moderna co-founder Robert Langer shared tips to drive innovation at a recent summit, while narrating a fascinating tale of tenacity during the development of angiogenesis inhibitors with Judah Folkman. If an idea is important, it’s sure to be criticized, said the man who has over 1,000 patents issued or pending worldwide.
As the global access debate adapts to the stark inequities exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN-backed Medicines Patent Pool is emerging as a key player on issues ranging from vaccine tech transfer to making more drugs affordable against the spread of non-communicable diseases like cancer to middle- and low-income countries.
Powered by prominent global health philanthropies and the UK’s world-class collaborative capabilities in disease surveillance, the new International COVID-19 Data Alliance (ICODA) is gearing up to address a crucial – and yet unanswered – policy question for public health: can sharing data curated from a diversity of sources provide the hard evidence needed to improve patient outcomes against the virus – not just for today’s pandemic, but for future ones as well? Much will depend on a robust response from big pharma.