Nature Medicine | Spoonful of Medicine

Stanford program gives discoveries a shot at commercialization

By Mike May In the late 1990s, Daria Mochly-Rosen, a protein chemist at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, discovered that a certain class of drugs that inhibit enzymes known as protein kinase C could reduce cardiac damage after a heart attack. Working with Stanford’s Office of Technology Licensing (OTL), she patented the finding with hopes of licensing it to a pharmaceutical company. No one showed any interest. Determined, Mochly-Rosen made the rounds with her colleagues in the pharmaceutical industry. But her pharma contacts wanted a drug to prevent heart attacks, not something to give after them. “They 


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