Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2007 (Revised May 2009)

Syndexa and Technology Transfer at Harvard University

by Richard G. Hamermesh and David Kiron


Gokhan Hotamisligil is a star researcher at Harvard School of Public Health who has made groundbreaking discoveries linking fat cells, inflammation, and diabetes. He now wants to form a company to commercialize these discoveries. At the same time, Isaac Kohlberg, the head of Harvard's Office of Technology Development (OTD), is eager to improve Harvard's record in commercializing science. Describes the negotiations between Hotamisligil, OTD, the new company, and the School of Public Health to establish appropriate licensing and sponsored research agreements.

Keywords: Business Startups; Higher Education; Entrepreneurship; Innovation and Invention; Intellectual Property; Rights; Agreements and Arrangements; Science-Based Business; Commercialization; Biotechnology Industry; Health Industry;


Hamermesh, Richard G., and David Kiron. "Syndexa and Technology Transfer at Harvard University." Harvard Business School Case 808-073, September 2007. (Revised May 2009.)