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


    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 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 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 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 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 2017, Mosaic has signed a transformative deal with Celgene and Northern Biologics that accelerates clinical trials of our lead candidate MSC-1. In recognition of this outstanding achievement, Mosaic was awarded with the Bioèxit award 2017 granted by CataloniaBio, the association of companies in the health and life sciences arena in Catalonia.

    In addition, Mosaic was recognized in 2012 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). 

  • Minoryx Therapeutics

    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

    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 Institut the Recerca Biomèdica (IRB Barcelona) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Roger Gomis.
    Born in March 2011. 

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    Inbiomotion is a personalized medicine company based in Barcelona. It develops biomarkers that predict bone metastasis to improve cancer patients’ quality of life.  

    Inbiomotion’s unique diagnostic assay is based on a highly selective single gene biomarker. It can predict at an early stage a patient’s risk of bone-specific metastases from primary tumors. The selectivity of the lead biomarker has the potential to advance the clinical standard of care using personalized medicine.


    Jointly supported by the Parc Científic de Barcelona (PCB), the Institut de Recerca Biomèdica (IRB Barcelona) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Lluís Ribas de Pouplana.
    Born in June 2005.

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    Omnia Molecular SL (Omnia) is a drug discovery
    company focused on the development of new
    antibiotics, antifungals, or anti-parasitic drugs.
    The company was founded in 2005, and started
    laboratory operations in 2008. Since that time
    Omnia has raised over 4 M€ to finance its
    operations, and has employed over 15 scientists
    at its laboratories in the Barcelona Science Park.
    Today the company continues its search for a
    new drug to fight antibiotic-resistant infections,
    particularly those caused by gram (-) bacteria in
    hospitalized patients.
    Omnia’s proprietary platform for new drug
    selection represents a powerful tool for the
    discovery of new anti-infective compounds.
    Omnia’s approach depends on an innovative use
    of the human protein synthesis machinery that
    allows fast screening for active, non-toxic
    molecules that inhibit the growth of pathogens.
    The company actively pursues joint projects
    with other drug discovery companies and
    academic groups, and has good experience in
    the coordination of European projects. From
    2010-2014 Omnia is the coordinator of three
    successful applications for European projects,
    involving seven partners from five different
    countries. Similarly, the company pursues and
    develops collaborative projects with large
    pharmaceutical companies that share our same

    “ICREA’s commitment to the support of
    intellectual property transfer by its scientists
    was instrumental in the birth of Omnia. From its
    inception the company was determined to allow
    the societal forces that supported its preliminary
    research to participate in its potential
    commercial gains. This attitude, however, needs
    to be matched by the willingness from public
    institutions to remove hurdles and facilitate the
    complicated circumstances that a new start-up
    will always encounter. The legal support and the
    motivation provided by ICREA contributed, for
    example, to our success in raising a first round of
    investment and the recruitment of our major
    investing partner”. Lluís Ribas de Pouplana.


    Jointly supported by the Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Majid Ebrahim Zadeh.
    Born in July 2005.

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    Radiantis is a specialist manufacturer of
    advanced wavelength conversion technology for
    the laser and photonics market. Founded in
    2005 as a spin-off company from the research
    laboratory of Professor Majid Ebrahim-Zadeh at
    ICFO in Barcelona, the company is now
    established as a leading supplier of state-of-theart
    ultrafast optical parametric oscillators (OPOs)
    and harmonic wavelength generation systems in
    the world, with best-in-class performance in the
    sector. The products offered by Radiantis
    provide uniquely versatile laser light tools for a
    variety of scientific and technological
    applications in biophotonics, nanophotonics,
    optical microscopy and imaging, time-resolved
    spectroscopy, semiconductor research,
    frequency synthesis, comb generation, quantum
    optics, and surface science. The products are
    designed and developed with the highest
    technological standards, and focus on delivering
    maximum flexibility, functionality, and utility for
    end-users. As such, substantial effort is
    dedicated to transform laboratory prototypes to
    highly engineered, fully automated, and
    computer-controlled systems for maximum
    reliability, stability, and ease-of-use. The turnkey
    systems manufactured by Radiantis are capable
    of reaching difficult spectral regions from the UV
    to the mid-IR, not available to lasers. The
    company is now established as a certified
    supplier of frequency conversion systems to one
    of the largest suppliers of laser technology in
    the world, Newport/Spectra-Physics, USA. (www.

    The flagship products manufactured by Radiantis
    are the uniquely versatile, hands-free
    femtosecond OPOs–InspireTM OPO Series–with
    an unprecedented gap-free wavelength
    coverage from the UV to near-IR (340-2500 nm),
    and a sealed cutting-edge femtosecond OPO–
    ORIA® IR–with full automation and interventionfree
    operation, providing continuous tuning
    across 1000–4500 nm in the near- to mid-IR. In
    2014, Radiantis further expanded its portfolio
    into instrumentation systems by introducing two
    new products to the market– a highly versatile
    compact spectrometer, and a laser beam
    stabilization module. The company has also
    established effective sales and distribution
    channels in Europe and Asia, and is actively
    involved in several collaborations with other
    leading manufacturers of laser technology
    worldwide, with the goal of developing new
    innovative products, strengthening its market
    position and consolidating its growth. Radiantis
    also participates in various national and
    European collaborative projects aimed at the
    development and commercialization of
    emerging and future technologies. Today,
    Radiantis is well integrated in the academic and
    research community and has a broad network of
    satisfied scientists deploying its advanced
    products across the world. The mission of the
    company is to maintain a leading position at the
    forefront of photonics technology worldwide by
    providing cutting-edge products with
    unsurpassed performance through continuous