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 Xavier Barril
    Born in October 2011. 

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    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 Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Miguel Á. González Ballester.
    Born in September 2019.

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    MiWEndo Solutions develops MiWEndo, a novel medical device that applies microwave imaging technology to colonoscopy. MiWEndo aims to contribute to improving prevention and diagnosis of colorectal cancer, as well as serving as an exploratory tool to increase the scientific knowledge about this type of cancer. MiWEndo automatises the detection of  polyps and raises an alarm when one is detected. Furthermore, it augments the field of view to 360º and provides quantitative tissue classification, without any modification to current clinical procedures.

    Colon cancer is a highly prevalent and devastating disease. The current push for screening programs worldwide has led to an increase in colonoscopy procedures. Detection of polyps in these explorations highly relies on the experience of the clinical expert, and is therefore subject to subjectivity and fatigue. MiWEndo aims at providing a novel valuable tool to the clinician, thus contributing to reduce the number of missed polyps in colonoscopies.

    The global market for colonoscopy is approximately 1550M€, with a yearly increase of 5%. The main target markets for MiWEndo, at present, are Europe, USA and Japan. MiWEndo is a patented device, and it is safe, complementary to existing colonoscopes and low-cost. MiWEndo will lead to increased polyp detection rates and better decision support, by providing more information about the malignancy of the tissue. It will also reduce time and cost, in terms of faster explorations, less repeated colonoscopies, reduced patient preparation time and earlier detection and treatment of colorectal cancer.

    Further information:

    [1] González Ballester et al. (2017), European patent no. EP3195786A1.

    [2] Guardiola et al. (2018), Medical Physics, vol. 45(8), 3768-3782.

    [3] Guardiola et al. (2019), IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, vol. 67(8), 4968-4977.


    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. Liquidated in 2020.


    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. 

  • Nuage Therapeutics
    Nuage Therapeutics

    Supported by the Institut de Recerca Biomèdica (IRB Barcelona) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Xavier Salvatella.
    Born in July 2022.

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    Nuage Therapeutics

    Nuage Therapeutics (Nuage Tx) is a spin-off company from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and ICREA, that stemmed from the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics lead by Dr. Xavier Salvatella. The company was incorporated on 29th July 2021.

    The mission of Nuage Tx is to leverage biomolecular condensation and chemical biology to develop selective modulators of disordered proteins involved in challenging indications representing unmet medical needs.

    Nuage Tx was founded by Xavier Salvatella, Mateusz Biesaga and Denes Hnisz, a team of scientists with complementary expertise that provide unique perspective on targeting intrinsically disordered proteins. Xavier Salvatella is an ICREA Professor and Leader of the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics at IRB Barcelona. He is a renowned expert in intrinsically disordered proteins, biomolecular condensation and the structural properties of the transactivation domain of androgen receptor. Mateusz Biesaga is a PhD student and an MSCA fellow at the laboratory of Xavier Salvatella. He holds a degree in biomedical engineering and has expertise in assay development and validation for drug discovery. Denes Hnisz is the Leader of Precision Gene Control group at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin (Germany). He is a prominent expert in transcriptional control, nuclear condensates and genome structure.

    The first program of Nuage Tx aims to develop a potent and selective drug targeting the transactivation domain of androgen receptor to deliver a life-changing treatment to patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer. Nuage Tx is developing a proprietary Condensation Screening Assay and a Target Discovery Algorithm that will be used to identify new targets and new drug candidates. Nuage Tx aims to become a platform company with multiple assets in its pipeline.

    Nuage Tx has already in-licensed a patent application from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) related to a proprietary in vitro condensation assay developed at Dr. Xavier Salvatella’s lab. The core intellectual property of Nuage Tx will be based on protecting the drug candidates once they reach a sufficiently advanced development stage. Other patent applications from public institutions or private entities will be in-licensed, if deemed necessary, to strengthen Nuage Tx’s patent portfolio.