#89: Dr. Gabi Hanna: Navigating Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship


Dr. Gabi Hanna, a physician entrepreneur with more than 15 years of leadership experience in early drug development and the Executive Director at Duke Preclinical Translational Research Unit speaks with Jason A. Duprat, Entrepreneur, Healthcare Practitioner and Host of the Healthcare Entrepreneur Academy Podcast. In this episode, they talk about the field of translational research. Dr. Hanna offers advice to entrepreneurs interested in navigating entrepreneurship while working for another institution.  


Episode Highlights:

  • What is Dr. Hanna’s background? What was it like for him as a child and teenager growing up and how did he transition into the medical field?

  • What is translational research?

  • What was Dr. Hanna’s first entrepreneurial venture?

  • What were some of the problems he encountered when he realized there wasn't much to show for the money being spent on research and development?

  • What does the approval process look like for new drugs?

  • What are some solutions Dr. Hanna developed to address the problems surrounding reproducibility?

  • What is the business model Dr. Hanna has set up?

  • How can you protect your intellectual property when working for an institution?

  • How is intellectual property divided between companies or institutions and founders?

  • Why did Dr. Hanna found the Duke Preclinical Translation Unit?

  • When did Dr. Hanna start his own company?

  • How did Dr. Hanna reach a licensing agreement with Mayo Clinic?


3 Key Points:

  1. Dr. Hanna found there was poor reproducibility and extended drug development time, leaving companies with a limited window to make a profit because patents would expire.

  2. Translational research fills the gap between physicians and researchers.

  3. Understand what the limitations are from your institution when creating a startup and adhere to those limitations.


Tweetable Quotes:

  • “The due diligence process – I can’t emphasize it enough. Be sure where you put your resources and where you select your assets.” – Dr. Gabi Hanna

  • “You need to be persistent to get to your goal and I think that's true for any entrepreneur for any business.” – Dr. Gabi Hanna


Resources Mentioned:

  • Duke University Translational Research Unit:


  • The Society for Physician Entrepreneurs (NC): 


  • Dr. Gabi Hanna LinkedIn:


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