Spin off companies

Although this is by no means expected from ICREA researchers, it so happens that sometimes they hit on something that shows promise of becoming a powerful new technology, but it seems impossible to develop that further without significant investment of time and money. In these cases, many choose to explore the option of creating a spin-off company dedicated to the concept.

List of spin off companies


    Supported by the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Hans Supèr.
    Born in September 2013.

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    Braingaze SL, founded by Laslzo Bax and Hans Supèr, is a spin-off company from ICREA/UB. Braingaze offers a patented method to measure visual attention by analyzing minute eye movements of the observer. The method paves the way for the development of a novel and
    clean biomarker of attention for eye tracking applications. It operates with any commercial available binocular eye tracker device and can be incorporated into any existing eye tracker software package.

    Commercial applications

     Eye tracking is the process of measuring the point of eye gaze, i.e. where one is looking. In recent years, the increased sophistication and accessibility of eye tracking technologies have generated a great deal of interest in various business sectors. Existing applications include web usability, advertising, package design, user interfacing, and assistive technology. Emerging markets are automotive engineering, gaming industry, health care & diagnostics, production industry, and consumer electronics. Examples of applications being developed include mobile phones, lap-top integrated user interfaces, iPad and iPhone apps, gaming consoles and digital cameras.
    Eye position data is translated into the observers’ preference. But whether a message or product will be seen depends on the attention of the observer; not on eye position.
    Braingaze offers a software module that establishes if a subject actually perceived what he/she gazed at. Braingaze method drastically increases the value of the typical eye tracking maps produced up to now.

    Clinical applications

    Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a developmental disorder, and is the most commonly studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children, affecting about 3% to 6% of children globally and diagnosed in about 2% to 16% of school aged children, and 3% in adults. The routine assessment of ADHD, which is based on questionnaires and developmental, physical and mental examination, has many flaws and is inaccurate. More importantly, while clear symptoms are present at 3 years of age, current diagnosis cannot be done before the age of 6 prohibiting early treatment, which is essential for preventing personal and social problems, and economical costs associated to ADHD.
    Braingaze offers a simple, fast, accurate tool to diagnose ADHD in children and adults. The biomarker of visual attention detects with high accuracy ADHD in children. As a result, diagnosis of ADHD can be more accurate, lower cost, less time consuming, observer-independent, earlier age diagnosis, and a much better communication of diagnosis fundamentals (by graphs rather than questionnaire responses being ranked). It also allows tracking progress of patient treatment. Braingaze intends to develop an exercise App allowing to pre-screen children for ADHD and to train children in their ability to focus attention and suppress distractive inputs.


    Supported by Medcomtech, Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), the Centre Tecnològic de la Química a Catalunya (CTQC) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Ramón Álvarez Puebla.
    Born in July 2013.

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    Medcomtech SA is an experienced company in the sector of medical technology. In 2010 it entered the Alternative Stock Market (MAB) withsolid growth, visibility and credibility.MEDCOM ADVANCE SA was created in July 2013for the research, development, production and
    distribution of new medical systems based in nanotechnology. It is a subsidiary company (spin-off) of Medcomtech SA and its initial objective is to promote and develop an innovative system for fast detection of microorganisms in fluids. This new system, aimed at hospitals, clinics and medical centers in general, presents improvements within the scope of the investigation of the source of infections and saving costs and time, since unnecessary medical tests are not carried out on patients.

    To create this new product, medical nanotechnology has been used, and the project had a budget of e 2,8 M for its production. Activities of MEDCOM ADVANCE SA are not restricted to this, but are also involved in the development of new materials for medical implants or new diagnostic devices for diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. To date, MEDCOM ADVANCE SA consists of six senior and six junior researchers, and two technicians with specialities ranging from physics to microbiology or medicine, with an expected expansion to other twenty positions within the next two years. This new business company, owned mainly by Medcomtech (75%), also involves scientific
    partners: Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV); Catalan Center for Chemical Technology (CTQC); Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA); and, privately, the ICREA Research Professor Ramón Álvarez Puebla.



    Jointly supported by the Vall d’Hebron Institut d’Oncologia (VHIO), the Vall d’Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Joan Seoane.
    Born in April 2013.

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    Mosaic Biomedicals is a drug discovery and development company located in Barcelona. Mosaic is focused on the development of personalized cancer treatments with a dual mechanism of action to eliminate cancer stem cells (CSC) and reactivate the tumor’s immune system.

    On the one hand, CSCs are believed to be responsible for tumour relapse, metastasis and resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. CSCs are, thus, critical therapeutic targets. On the other hand, the immune system plays a critical role in cancer. The genomic and epigenomic alterations of tumours generate immunogenic antigens that engage an immune response. However, many tumours develop mechanisms to escape the immune system normally by co-opting immune-checkpoint pathways to generate immunosuppression. As a consequence, treatments designed to block the cancer-induced immunotolerance lead to tumour eradication.

    Taking these evidences together, treatments with this dual mechanism of action targeting CSCs and the immune check-point should lead to safer and more effective therapies for cancer patients. In addition, a companion diagnostic test will complement each new therapeutic agent in order to identify those patients that would benefit from the therapy, giving rise to the personalized medicine. This approach increases the success rate for oncology drugs and decreases development time and associated costs.

    Mosaic Biomedicals was generated as a result of the European Research Council Proof of Concept, ERC PoC “Glioma” and a PROVA’T (CERCA and FEDER) grants. Mosaic has established collaborative projects with leading international academic laboratories and is the coordinator of a National project with VHIO awarded with the Retos de Colaboración initiative (Ministry of Science and Innovation). Mosaic has been granted with an Empresa Nacional de Innovación S.A. (ENISA) public funding instrument and has received the support of the private investors Versant Ventures, a prestigious Life Sciences Venture Capital firm with headquartes in Silicon Valley (CA, US) along with the largest venture capital firm in Spain, La Caixa Capital Risc, and local Business Angels.

    In 2017, Mosaic has signed a transformative deal with Celgene and Northern Biologics that accelerates clinical trials of our lead candidate MSC-1. In recognition of this outstanding achievement, Mosaic was awarded with the Bioèxit award 2017 granted by CataloniaBio, the association of companies in the health and life sciences arena in Catalonia.

    In addition, Mosaic was recognized in 2012 as the “Biosciences Start-up with the Greatest Growth Potential” voted by 25 experts from the biotech industry and venture capital as the “Best Biotech Project in Spain 2012” by the Spanish Association of Biocompanies (ASEBIO), The Science and Technology Spanish Foundation (FECyT), the Spanish Association of Biotechnology (SEBiot) and the Spanish Association of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SEBBM). 

  • Minoryx Therapeutics

    Supported by the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Xavier Barril
    Born in October 2011. 

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    Minoryx Therapeutics

    Minoryx Therapeutics develops treatments for Inborn Errors of Metabolism, a group of rare diseases of genetic origin affecting 3,700 newborns every year in Europe. Such diseases are life threatening and highly debilitating, usually with neurological manifestations and affect most severely the pediatric population. The social and economic impact of these diseases cannot be overstated and, with 90% of cases lacking curative treatments, there is a high unmet medical need. Minoryx develops new drugs to improve both the quality of life and life expectancy of the patients.

    Minoryx has developed SEE-Tx (Site-directed Enzyme Enhancement Therapy), a technological platform that incorporates computational methods developed in the Barril’s lab at Barcelona University. SEE-Tx enables us to develop a new generation of drugs: the non-competitive pharmacological chaperones, which recover the functionality of mutated proteins, thus attacking the root of the disease. We have discovered non-competitive pharmacological chaperones in a range programs, which are at various stages of preclinical research.


    Supported by the Institut the Recerca Biomèdica (IRB Barcelona) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Roger Gomis.
    Born in March 2011. 

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    Inbiomotion is a personalized medicine company based in Barcelona. It develops biomarkers that predict bone metastasis to improve cancer patients’ quality of life.  

    Inbiomotion’s unique diagnostic assay is based on a highly selective single gene biomarker. It can predict at an early stage a patient’s risk of bone-specific metastases from primary tumors. The selectivity of the lead biomarker has the potential to advance the clinical standard of care using personalized medicine.