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

  • PAPERDROP DIAGNOSTICS

    Supported by the Institut de Nanociència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Arben Merkoçi.
    Born in May 2017.


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    PAPERDROP DIAGNOSTICS

    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.

  • 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.

  • PROSPERA BIOTECH

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


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    PROSPERA BIOTECH

    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.

  • 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


  • QUSIDE

    Supported by the Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) and ICREA.
    Entrepeneurs:  ICREA Research Professors Morgan Mitchell and Valerio Pruneri
    Formalised in September 2017.


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    QuSide Technologies S.L. is set up to develop quantum technologies for the cyber-security and super-computation worlds. By exploiting photonics technologies and by leveraging the maturity of the semiconductor manufacturing industry, QuSide products bring unprecedented security and performance to the information era.

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