Non-profit versus For-profit Medical Institutions and the Commercialization of Invention

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Academic Paper
Title Non-profit versus For-profit Medical Institutions and the Commercialization of Invention
Author Catherine Kirby, Ed Egan
Status Tabled
©, 2016


  • Grant Data
  • Clinical Trial Data
  • Our data on Medical Centers
  • Core Patent Data
  • Patent Assignment Data
  • VentureXpert

General Idea

Clinical trials are crucial for many biotech/life-science innovations. They generally can not take place at the same institution that conceived the invention. Clinical trials can take place at non-profit or for-profit institutions. Invention can take place in for-profit/non-profit incumbents, startups, academia, etc. Invention may be funded by grants and may result (perhaps post phase 2 trial) in patents. For-profit institutions that conduct clinical trials have market-based incentives to align the innovation paths of those they work with, non-profits do not. We should therefore expect to see startups and for-profit incumbents engage more with for-profit clinical trial institutions. We could identify causality on the for/non-profit effect if some clinical trial institutions switch status.

Measures of the relationship

  • Patents can (and frequently do) have more than one assignee at a time. Assignment also changes as patents are sold or exclusively licensed (as well as for other reason). Patents with joint assignment or sequential assignment are relevant.
  • Clinical trials have one or more sponsors and one or more locations. Clinical trials jointly sponsored by a startup and a medical center facility or sponsored by a startup and then located at a medical center facility are relevant.
  • NIH grants have one or more recipients as well as associated patents and trials


Catherine matched patents, grants, and clinical trials to Medical Centers. She's going to prototype this as a report for the Medical Centers and Grants project.