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30 Years is Too Long to Wait for New Medicines. There are Ways to Speed Up Drug Development

Have you heard the oft-repeated “fact” that it takes at least 10 years from initial discovery for a new drug to enter the marketplace? Take it with a grain of salt. The drug development journey is closer to 30 years.

I’ve experienced the lag time between discovery and commercial success as the co-founder of a biotech startup, and now I study it at the Center for Integration of Science and Industry at Bentley University.

In the early 1990s, I co-founded GeneMedicine Inc., one of the first gene therapy companies. It had a successful startup, raised hundreds of millions of dollars, pioneered new product and business opportunities, and completed an initial public offering, which gave our initial investors a substantial profit. (Read more)


Why a 'Moonshot' to Cure Cancer Might Just Work

Expectations are building for major breakthroughs in cancer treatment. Philanthropists Sean Parker, Michael Bloomberg and Sidney Kimmell have collectively contributed half a billion dollars for new initiatives in immunotherapy, and President Obama has pledged a billion dollars for Vice President Joe Biden’s “moonshot” cancer initiative. Is this the time to be reaching for the moon in cancer therapy? (Read more)


Making the Case for Science
Businesses demand science literacy from management students. Here's why.

On March 14 in Washington, D.C., a group of business school educators and administrators gathered at the National Academy of Sciences to meet with leaders from the private and public sectors and have a conversation on an unlikely topic: climate change education for future business leaders.  (Read more)


Learning in unexpected places

I only remember two of the courses I took in college, and neither was in my major.
I went to college in the 1970s as a pre-medical student, and my college curriculum was dominated by courses that were pre-requisite for medical school. None of those courses matter now. By the time I began my professional career, everything I learned in those courses was obsolete, and the textbooks I used are now yellowed museum pieces in my library.  (Read more)


Why Innovation is Stuck in Slow Motion
The Changing World of Business
Creating economic growth from the third industrial revolution

Business innovation has a problem. A recent working paper by Robert Gorden titled “Is US Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds” suggests that “innovation does not have the same potential to create growth in the future as in the past.”

Want a good example? Consider the most talked-about advertisement “teaser” leading up to this year’s Super Bowl titled “Kate Upton Washes the All-New Mercedes-Benz CLA in Slow Motion.” It is impossible to watch this advertisement without asking: “what’s new?”  (Read more)


Biotech: Not Just for Geeks
The Changing World of Business
Business students get high marks for scientific literacy

In a down economy, biotechnology jobs are growing faster than the overall Massachusetts state economy. The numbers don’t lie, says a recent industry study:

  • More than 53,000 people in the Bay State are employed in the biopharmaceutical industry
  • More than 28,000 people in biotechnology collectively earn more than $6 billion per year

These are big numbers. They reflect the state’s leading role in an industry that comprises more than 70,000 establishments, employs more than 1.5 million people nationwide, and continues to grow, according to the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.  (Read more)


Careers of the Future: Will You Be Able to Recognize the Next Big Thing?

In this final installment of our seven-week Careers of the Future Series, Fred Ledley, professor of Natural and Applied Sciences and Management as well as director of the Bentley Center for Integration of Science and Industry, explores what exactly it takes for millennial students to prepare for tomorrow's careers — including those can't even be imagined today. 

College graduates in 2014 will have more than a dozen different jobs during their lifetimes, many in industries and positions that haven’t even been created today.  (Read more)


Academia should heed industry’s scientific plea

Creative problem solving demands critical thinking and science literacy

Business school educators and administrators assembled at the National Academy of Sciences to meet leaders from the private and public sectors and discuss a somewhat unlikely topic: climate-change education for future business leaders. (Read more)


An entrepreneur’s view on the effects of GDP revisions on R&D investment and the economy

Entrepreneurs should pay attention to recent changes in the way the U.S. calculates Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The revision, which shifts research and development (R&D) from an operating expense to a fixed investment, could stimulate greater R&D spending and promote much-needed technological innovation.

Calculating the GDP has become more complex as the U.S. shifts from a manufacturing economy to a knowledge economy more dependent on the often-abstract products of innovation. The Bureau of Economic Analysis’ (BEA) definition of GDP — “the market value of final goods and services produced by labor and property within the United States during a given period” — can be problematic for entrepreneurship. This is particularly true for enterprises focused on translating emerging scientific discoveries into new products and businesses. (Read more)