Hatching Medtech Progress in the Northeast
Monday, May 4, 2015
Where would the medical device industry be without Robert Langer, ScD? Since the 1980s, the MIT professor has made chemical engineering relevant to the life sciences. He has collaborated with scientists, professors, and a horde of graduate and postdoctoral students to research treatments for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and schizophrenia, not to mention hair care products. The field of drug-delivery in particular has benefitted from his contributions. With his students and colleagues at MIT, and its teaching affiliate Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and other institutions, Langer has helped launch 29 companies and has 1080 patents issued or pending.
Langer’s story provides a great example of how labs and incubators have helped power Massachusetts’ medtech industry—and could do the same in New York if some in the Empire State have their way.
The Massachusetts companies Langer has helped start include T2 Biosystems Inc. (Lexington), which makes disease diagnostic products; Arsenal Medical Inc. (Watertown) which is developing technology to stop internal bleeding; Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Cambridge), which makes a blood-clot fighting drug; Microchips Biotech (Lexington), which makes implants that can release drug doses for up to 16 years; and Living Proof Inc., a hair products company also based in Cambridge.