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
Orchestra Scientific S.L.
Supported by the Institut Català d'Investigació Química (ICIQ) and ICREA.view details
Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor José Ramón Galán-Mascarós.
Born in December 2017.
Orchestra Scientific SL is born as a start-up company with the aim to exploit the commercial potential of recent patents and know-how developed by ICREA Prof. JR Galán-Mascarós at ICIQ. Our team is designing new economic solutions for the characterisation and purification of materials with special interest in renewable energies and CO2 mitigation and valorisation.
Supported by the Institut de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2) and ICREA.view details
Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Arben Merkoçi.
Born in May 2017.CLOSE
PaperDrop Diagnostics S.L. is a nanobiotech company focused on the development of new diagnostic tools.
Drug-induced injuries (DII) are a little-known public health problem that can cause serious complications and even death. They are caused by kidney or liver failure as a result of adverse drug reactions and/or polypharmacy, the use of four or more medications. This tends to implicate the elderly, which makes DIIs a growing concern in the context of an aging population.
Currently, early diagnosis of DIIs is non-existent and, when symptoms do present, they can often be misdiagnosed as pertaining to another problem, resulting in a prescription cascade. While this is not so common in the clinical trial setting, where DIIs are a known problem and specialist resources are available for their detection, in its chronic form it is down to primary care physicians to diagnose the DII, who do not typically have access to the necessary resources.
Paperdrop Diagnostics S.L. proposes a low-cost, easy-to-use device for just such a situation. Its lateral flow immunoassays and microfluidic paper-based analytical devices are being optimised to detect six key biomarkers known to be correlated with the main DIIs: drug-induced kidney injuries, drug-induced liver injuries and systemic inflammatory response syndrome. And it can do so from a single drop of the patient’s blood.
Jointly supported by the Vall d’Hebron Institut d’Oncologia (VHIO) and ICREA.view details
Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Laura Soucek.
Born in December 2014.
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.
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.