The declining impact of federal funding on cancer innovation

Raphael Zingg, Assistant Professor at Waseda University, analyzed a set of 100,000 cancer-related patents aggregated by the US Patent and Trademark Office within the framework of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force. The study shows that the direct impact of the NIH on cancer-related inventions shifted over the years. A decline in number and share of federally funded inventions is followed by a decrease in the technological impact of those patents. These various pieces of the puzzle mirror a conservative funding strategy, rather than a high-risks high-rewards one.

The paper “The declining impact of the US National Institutes of Health on cancer patenting” appeared on July 2, 2019 in Nature Biotechnology, with DOI: