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

  • INNOVEX THERAPEUTICS

    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. 

  • PEPTOMYC

    Jointly supported by the Vall d’Hebron Institut d’Oncologia (VHIO) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Laura Soucek.
    Born in December 2014.


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    Peptomyc SL is a company focused on the
    development of a new generation of cell
    penetrating peptides (CPPs) for cancer
    treatment. The company was founded in
    December 2014 and it is based on Dr. Soucek’s
    scientific work focused on Myc inhibition.

    Background and market opportunity

    Chemotherapy is currently the most common
    non-surgical therapeutic option for the majority
    of cancers. Unfortunately, it often results in poor
    overall outcome for the patients due to the
    development of resistance to these nonselective
    treatments. Currently the alternative to
    such therapies is so-called “personalized
    medicine”, but very few targeted therapies have
    been commercialized to date and these target a
    restricted subset of cancers. In addition, the
    majority of these therapies target degenerate
    and redundant functions in tumor cells, resulting
    once again in resistance to treatment. Myc is an
    oncogene causally implicated in most cancers
    and is often associated with aggressive, poorly
    differentiated and angiogenic tumors. Myc has a
    non-redundant function in cancer around which
    tumors cannot evolve, hence targeting Myc is the
    most promising therapeutic opportunity we
    have to date. However, a Myc inhibitor has yet to
    become clinically available.

    Technology

    Dr. Laura Soucek has generated Omomyc, a
    dominant-negative Myc mutant that is able to
    prevent Myc-dependent gene transactivation
    functions both in vitro and in vivo, negating
    Myc’s ability to bind its DNA recognition binding
    site. Omomyc has proven to be the most
    efficacious direct Myc inhibitor to date and
    appears to be therapeutically valuable in a
    variety, if not all, cancer types, but so far it has
    only been considered a proof of principle, whose
    application could be limited to gene therapy.
    However, our new results indicate that the
    Omomyc peptide itself displays excellent cell
    penetrating properties and can efficiently enter
    cells and exert a strong anti-Myc activity that
    results in arrest/death of all cancer cell lines
    tested so far. Peptomyc SL now aims to further
    develop the Omomyc peptide - and improved
    variants - into clinically viable therapeutics for
    the treatment of cancer patients.

  • PROTEUXS DX (Inactive)

    Jointly supported by Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Ciara O’Sullivan.
    Born in December 2014 / Closed in December 2016


  • BRAINGAZE

    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
     

  • MEDCOM ADVANCE

    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) 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.

     

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