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NYT: Biotech startup champ Langer helped inspire 25 new companies

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Inside biotech circles, MIT Professor Robert Langer has long held the title as a champion in the serial entrepreneur class. Now The New York Times has done the math on an impressive career, with 25 startups to his credit and more than 800 patents. And a long list of his grad students has gone on to notable careers in drug development, including a few he's partnered with on startups.

It's not always easy being a true innovator.

"Very often when you are going for real innovation," Langer tells the Times, "you have to go against prevailing wisdom, and it's hard to go against prevailing wisdom when there are people who have been there for a long time and you have some vice president who says, 'No, that doesn't make sense.'"

That's not something he hears very often from Polaris Venture Partners, which has invested $220 million in 18 companies to come out of his lab. Langer's notions have spawned new development projects for cancer, nanotechnology, schizophrenia, and even hair care.

Intriguingly, the article wraps with another Langer idea that may eventually become a company. He and a colleague at Mass General developed a gel that makes vocal cords more pliable, with promising animal study results. But Langer says he's still not sure if the product--designed to help singers--should be used to launch yet another biotech company. 

- here's the article from The New York Times

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