Recent Research Studies and Reports

Numerous studies offer a framework for issues the Center for the Integration of Science and Industry seeks to address. Recent articles are outlined below.

Recent article:

Assessing the history and value of Human Genome Sciences, Journal of Commercial Biotechnology, Laura M. McNamee, Fred D. Ledley

Abstract:

Human Genome Science (HGS) aspired to dominate the emergent field of genomics by discovering expressed gene sequences and developing therapeutic and diagnostic products based on proprietary genes. While HGS’ accomplishments fell short of their own lofty expectations, by the time HGS was acquired by GlaxoSmithKline, the company had extensive intellectual property and had launched a product with >$1 billion market potential. Nevertheless, HGS’ acquisition price was less than the total capital investments in the company. This work examines HGS’ history and accomplishments in the context of the business plan described by the company at their IPO. We focus specifically on the company’s valuation over time, which was highly correlated with general market indices, but negatively correlated with metrics of technical or clinical progress. The history of HGS points to the challenge of accounting for the value created by a science-based business plan. Earnings-based metrics, present value calculations, and “fair value” assessments did not account for HGS’ progress in executing their stated business plan. This work highlights the critical need for accounting practices that credit value to the progress of translational science and enable investors to profit from such investments.

Recent article:

Learning Objectives and Content of Science Curricula for Undergraduate Management Education, Journal of Management Education, by Fred D. Ledley & Stephen S. Holt

Abstract:

Business is progressively integrating technologies and R&D with corporate and business strategy. This trend is creating increasing demand for executives and managers who have sufficient technology-centered knowledge to work effectively in interdisciplinary environments. This study addresses how management education could address the growing need for such pluralistic training by embracing development of undergraduate science curriculum attuned to the needs of business students. We found that science courses are part of the required curriculum at 80% of BusinessWeek’s “top business schools.” To assess what content and learning objectives might best meet the needs of business students, we conducted a survey of educators from business, science, and arts and sciences in general and examined curriculum developed explicitly for business students at two freestanding business institutions. These results suggest that science courses could better serve business education by providing a broad picture of scientific principles and their presence in everyday life, promoting critical thinking and inductive reasoning, and enabling understanding of scientific research, technical innovation, and product development as well as their ethical and social implications. Development of such courses would require collaboration between management and science educators to ensure that the scientific content of the courses meet the highest standards of evidence-based science education and the business context is grounded in rigorous management principles and practices.

Recent Podcast:

Learning Objectives and Content of Science Curricula for Undergraduate Management Education, November 2012

Summary:

Professor Fred Ledley of Bentley University talks with editor Jane Schmidt-Wilk about his paper, co-authored by Stephen Holt of Olin College, which argues that business programs should require science courses designed expressly to meet the needs of business students.

Recent article:

Patterns of technological innoviation in biotech, Nature Biotechnology, by Laura M. McNamee & Fred D. Ledley

Abstract:

Theories of innovation posit that effective product development and value creation require business models and strategies matched to the stage of technology evolution. Such theories are predicated on patterns of technology evolution observed in other fields, where periods of exponential advancement are followed by limits and obsolescence as new technologies emerge. In this paper, we describe analogous patterns of technological evolution for three classes of therapeutic biotechnologies—somatic gene therapy, nucleotide therapeutics, and monoclonal antibodies—and discuss the potential relevance of business innovation theories to the biotechnology industry.

Recent article:

Bridging the Boundary between Science and Business, The International Journal of Science in Society, by Fred Ledley

Abstract: 

Theories of innovation posit that effective product development and value creation require business models and strategies matched to the stage of technology evolution. Such theories are predicated on patterns of technology evolution observed in other fields, where periods of exponential advancement are followed by limits and obsolescence as new technologies emerge. In this paper, we describe analogous patterns of technological evolution for three classes of therapeutic biotechnologies—somatic gene therapy, nucleotide therapeutics, and monoclonal antibodies—and discuss the potential relevance of business innovation theories to the biotechnology industry.

Related article:

Can Science Be a Business?:  Lessons from Biotech. Harvard Business Review, by Gary P. Pisano

Abstract:

In its 30 years of life, the biotechnology industry has attracted more than $300 billion in capital. Much of this investment has been based on the belief that biotech could transform health care. The original promise was that this new science, harnessed to new forms of entrepreneurial businesses that were deeply involved in advancing basic science, would produce a revolution in drug therapy.

Related article:

Reinventing Your Business Model. Harvard Business Review, by Johnson, Christensen & Kagermann.

Abstract:

In 2003, Apple introduced the iPod with the iTunes store, revolutionizing portable entertainment, creating a new market, and transforming the company. In just three years, the iPod/iTunes combination became a nearly $10 billion product, accounting for almost 50% of Apple’s revenue. Apple’s market capitalization catapulted from around $1 billion in early 2003 to over $150 billion by late 2007.

Related article:

In defense of life sciences venture investing. Nature Biotechnology, by Booth & Salehizadeh.

Abstract:

Although life sciences investing creates new medicines, diagnostics and devices that ultimately save or improve lives, within the venture capital asset class it has often been treated like an ugly stepchild relative to its 'high tech' sisters focused on new software, Web 2.0, clean tech and social media. The incredible recent successes of Facebook (Palo Alto, CA, USA), Groupon (Chicago), Zynga (San Francisco), LinkedIn (Mountain View, CA, USA) and Twitter (San Francisco) have only increased the pressure on life sciences venture capital and have helped contribute to a general malaise toward life sciences by those limited partners who invest in new venture funds.