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

  • BRAINGAZE
    A spin-off company supported by the Universitat de Barcelona (UB) and ICREA. Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Hans Supèr. Born in September 2013.
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    BRAINGAZE

    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.
    www.braingaze.com
     

  • EODYNE
    A spin-off company jointly supported by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and ICREA. Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Paul Verschure. Born in November 2014.
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    EODYNE

    Eodyne Systems SL, a spin-off company from the research group SPECS (Synthetic, Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems) of the Center of Autonomous Systems and Neurorobotics (nras. upf.edu) at UPF, is launched to address one of the main health challenges our society is facing: functional recovery after brain damage which affects about 60 million people worldwide. Eodyne Systems SL will be commercializing a novel virtual reality based approach towards brain recovery and health, called the Rehabilitation Gaming System (RGS). RGS is based on the basic research performed by SPECS on the principles governing mind and brain and validated in collaboration with its clinical partners. After successfully treating about 400 patients at different stages of recovery after stroke and publishing the results in leading scientific journals and conferences, RGS is ready to be used by society. To achieve maximal distribution a commercial route is provided through the Eodyne Systems SL business strategy.

    The partners of Eodyne Systems SL are Professor Dr. Paul F.M.J. Verschure, director of SPECS Research Lab and the inventor of RGS,  Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and Carmen Buisan, Senior project manager at SPECS.

    Eodyne’s flagship product, RGS, is a novel science-based solution for the integrated treatment of deficits that can result from stroke. RGS provides the global healthcare market with:

     

    * A low-cost tool for the neurorehabilitation of deficits in motor, affective, cognitive and linguistic capabilities due to brain damage

    * Applicability at all phases of treatment: acute and sub-acute (hospital or rehabilitation clinic) and chronic (home or health centre)

    * The active engagement of the patients in their rehabilitation following a personalized treatment approach

    * A system that empowers the patients and their social environment in the management of their own well being, customizing treatment to their means and lifestyle

    * An integrated system for remote treatment, diagnostics, monitoring and advise, allowing savings for patients and their relatives, primary healthcare providers, health centers and insurance companies

    * A life-long learning approach towards physical and mental health

    * A scientifically grounded state of the art ICT, artificial intelligence and virtual reality system that brings serious gaming to a qualitatively new level of deployment by integrating it with clinically validated methods and integrated solutions for diagnostic, monitoring and guidance.

    www.eodyne.com 

  • INNOVEX THERAPEUTICS
    A spin-off company supported by ICREA, ISGlobal/CRESIB and IGTP. Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Hernando A. del Portillo. Born in March 2014.
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    INNOVEX THERAPEUTICS

    INNOVEX THERAPEUTICS SL is the first Spanish
    spin-off company devoted to develop Exosomes
    as new platform for vaccines and diagnostic
    tools. Cornerstone of the spin-off is the
    discovery that reticulocyte-derived exosomes
    (rex) from malaria infections could be used as a
    new platform and vaccine against this disease.
    This approach is internationally protected (PCT/
    EP2010/070800). Exosomes are 30-100 nm
    vesicles formed by endocytosis of segments of
    the plasma membrane. The internalized segment
    generates multivesicular bodies (MVBs)
    containing small vesicles that are released as
    exosomes following fusion of the MVBs with the
    plasma membrane. The company offers a new
    proprietary and flexible technological platform
    based on exosomes for the design, formulation
    and production of new vaccines and diagnostics.
    INNOVEX THERAPEUTICS SL was created in
    March 2014 by Hernando A. del Portillo and
    Francesc E. Borrás, with an accionary
    participation of three Research Institutions:
    ICREA, CRESIB and IGTP. Presently, it consists of
    two senior researchers, one junior researcher
    and one technician. The Scientific Advisory
    board is formed by Drs. Clotilde Théry (Institut
    Curie, France), Bernd Giebel (University Hospital
    Essen, Germany), Javier Martínez-Picado (ICREA
    at IRSICaixa) and Professor Hermann Bujard
    (University of Heidelberg, Germany). The
    management consultant is Dr. Carlos de Lecea
    (Lemus Buhils SL).

    INNOVEX THERAPEUTICS SL´s objective is to
    contribute to a better health through the
    development and commercialization of
    exosomes as new vaccine platforms and
    diagnostic tools for human and animal health.
    The company includes in its portfolio
    balanced projects and takes into
    consideration that they are not presently
    covered by the market, the size of the
    business opportunity, their target amplitude
    of use, chronicity of the products and
    competitive price positioning in each
    segment. Our strategy is to develop three
    commercialized products within the next
    three years, when the company expects to
    have a return of investment. The business
    plan is adapted to regulatory guidelines of
    the different products to avoid delay in its
    economic objectives, and foresees that
    investments in early studies not only become
    rapidly profitable but that they also serve as
    the basis for regulatory applications of the
    most complex products. The company has
    obtained free laboratory space for the next
    three years at IGTP –Campus Can Ruti, where
    it is presently operating. In addition, the
    company has received a first investment for
    developing a Proof-of-Concept of a new
    vaccine and is actually and actively seeking
    new investors.
    Transfer of the patent to the company was
    only possible through the generous and
    “example-to-follow” attitude of the four
    Institutions originally owning it: ICREA, CRESIB,
    Fundació Clínic and Fundació Privada CELLEX,
    which fully and legally supported this transfer.
    http://innovexther.com

  • MEDCOM ADVANCE
    This spin-off company is 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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    MEDCOM ADVANCE

    Medcomtech SA is an experienced company in
    the sector of medical technology. In 2010 it
    entered the Alternative Stock Market (MAB) with
    solid growth, visibility and credibility.
    MEDCOM ADVANCE SA was created in July 2013
    for 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.

    www.medcomadvance.com

     

  • MOSAIC BIOMEDICALS
    Mosaic Biomedicals is a spin-off company 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

    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 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 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 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
    addition, Mosaic is the 2012 winner of the
    BioEmprenedor XXI programme, and has been
    recognized 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).
    www.mosaicbiomedicals.com

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