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 Institut de Microelectrònica de Barcelona (IMB-CNM-CSIC) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Neus Sabaté.
    Born in July 2016. 

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    FUELIUM SL develops ecofriendly and single use paper batteries that are able to deliver electrical power to a wide variety of portable devices. The mission of the company is to provide a clean and efficient alternative to conventional button cells.

    FUELIUM batteries are made of paper, carbon and small quantities of non-toxic metals and can be fabricated with low-cost reel-to-reel processes. They are activated by the addition of a single drop of an aqueous liquid: water, urine, plasma/serum, saliva, etc…and can deliver power in the range of miliwatts for several hours. These features make them particularly suitable to power in-vitro diagnostics applications (IVD). The company aims to cover the IVD needs by providing power to digital tests in sectors like woman health monitoring, infectious diseases, drugs of abuse, food analysis or environmental control.

    Compared to their competitors, FUELIUM batteries can be tailored to deliver the energy required by a particular application, they do not generate any harmful or toxic waste – what allows them to be disposed in domestic bins without the need of any recycling procedure - and they reduce manufacturing and integration costs of the devices that require power on-board.

    FUELIUM was founded in 2015 due to the know-how accumulated by the Microfuel cells research group led by Prof. Neus Sabaté at the Institut de Microelectrònica de Barcelona (IMB-CNM-CSIC) and the CSIC patent that protects the technology was licensed to the company in 2016. 


    Jointly supported by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research professor Miguel Chillón.
    Born in August 2016.

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    Kogenix Therapeutics, Inc. is an early stage gene therapy company developing treatments for debilitating and fatal neurodegenerative diseases. The company plans to develop one-time single dose therapies using adeno-associated virus vectors (AAV) aiming to increase levels of Klotho protein in the brain. The first targeted indications are Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and multiple sclerosis (MS).

    Klotho is a large protein produced in the kidney and brain that acts as a circulating growth factor, involved in neuroprotection, neuroregeneration, remyelination and cognition in the CNS. Thus, Klotho-deficient mice show many signs of human aging including cognitive decline, synaptic loss, abnormal CNS myelin, osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and die prematurely. Moreover, in humans, Klotho levels are very low in the aged brain. In contrast, transgenic Klotho mice live 30% longer, are healthier and smarter, and gene therapy approaches for boosting the level of Klotho protein in the CNS led to significant improvements in memory and cognition.

    The company, based in Boston (US), was founded in August 2016 by Dr. Miguel Chillon, an ICREA researcher at UAB and VHIR, Dr. Assumpció Bosch, Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UAB, Dr. Carmela Abraham, Professor of Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University (BU), and Menachem Abraham (CEO), Director on the boards of a dozen private and public companies. Kogenix Therapeutics.


    Supported by Irsicaixa AIDS Research Institute, HIVACAT and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Christian Brander.
    Born in November 2015.

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    AELIX Therapeutics is a HIV vaccine development company focused on the development and clinical testing of HIV vaccine candidates.  Founded in December 2015, the company closed a first round of investment of 11.5 mio and has hired 4 employees with offices at the Parc Scientific in Barcelona. The company works closely with investigators at leading HIV research institutions in Barcelona (Hospital Clinc and Irsicaixa) and other centers abroad. These collaborations ensure direct patient access and excellent clinical and laboratory monitoring of future clinical trials.  A phase I clinical trial to test the safety of AELIX’s lead products is scheduled to start in the fall of 2016.  A proof-of concept phase II trial in HIV infected individuals is envisioned to be completed by the end of  2019.

    AELIX’s vaccine platform consists of a novel design of a HIV T cell immunogen sequence that is delivered by various vectors in HIV infected and uninfected individuals.  The immunogen design is based on detailed immune analyses in more than one thousand HIV infected individuals from 4 continents and covering geographic areas where different clades of HIV dominate.  Its design was completed within the HIVACAT program, the Catalan HIV vaccine program started in 2008.  The initial clinical application of this new vaccine approach is focused on its use as an HIV-specific immunotherapy in already HIV infected individuals.  The goal is to rejuvenate, re-educate or completely newly induce most effective CD4 and CD8 T cell responses to relatively conserved regions of the HIV proteome. Such responses are expected to act against a large portion of the global viral diversity and should allow infected individuals to avoid the need for life-long treatment with antiretroviral drugs.  Strategic partnerships will be developed to conduct future large-scale clinical trials and to possibly further improve viral control by including additional immune-based strategies and compounds acting on latent viral reservoirs.  With positive data in therapeutic proof-of-concept studies, AELIX will consider testing its lead candidate as a preventive vaccine as well.  


    Supported by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center - Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS), the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), the Institut de Recerca Bioèdica de Barcelona (IRB Barcelona) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Victor Guallar.
    Born in December 2015.

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    Nostrum Biodiscovery is a biotechnological company focused on the computational biology sector and specifically; in the structure-based drug design area dedicated to early drug discovery and development based on rational design techniques.

    For 12 years, Dr. Modesto Orozco and Dr. Victor Guallar supported by top-tier public research institutions as Barcelona SuperComputing Center (BSC), Institute for Research in Biomedine (IRB Barcelona), ICREA and Universitat de Barcelona (UB) have been developing innovative in silico tools to reduce pharmaceutical and biotechnological R&D costs while improving the productivity and future profitability of the drug discovery process.

    Nostrum Biodiscovery technologies represents a unique breakthrough in this field since they will be bringing key features to pharmaceutical discovery users as the new approach to molecular simulation, target characterization, drug recognition and an integrated molecular dynamics into the drug value chain. 


    Supported by Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Pura Muñoz.
    Born in December 2015.

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    Prospera Biotech SL is a privately held company specialized in developing novel approaches for improving functionality, maintenance and regeneration of damaged tissue. Prospera implements its breakthrough biomedical technology in developing novel approaches to combat fibrosis, inflammation and to improve tissue loss and degeneration. We direct our effort to three major areas: first, development of new anti-fibrotic agents to reduce fibrosis in chronic conditions such as muscle dystrophies and after acute injuries such as sport lesions; second, to provide customized scientific assays upon request in the fields of regeneration, fibrosis, inflammation, atrophy, cachexia and aging effects in muscle and skin tissues; and third, to develop nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, sports medicine and dermatological applications.

    Prospera Biotech was born as a natural consequence of the extensive know-how accumulated by the scientific core of the Cell Biology Group (UPF), with the implementation of translational applications to medical needs and the straightforward application of this knowledge to biomedical R&D services after the incorporation of member with proven expertise in the identification of cellular regulatory pathways in the fields of cosmeceutic, nutraceutic and dermatological applications as well as in business management.

    The Company’s mission is to explore and develop new, optimized tissue homeostasis regulators, with a first focus on regenerative medicine, based on the last innovative, high-throughput and combinatorial biochemistry technologies.