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 Institute for Political Economy and Governance and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Caterina Calsamiglia.
    Born in May 2019.

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    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.


    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.

  • Pulmobiotics Logo

    Supported by the Centre de Regulació Genòmica and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Luis Serrano
    Born in March 2020.

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    More than 1 billion persons suffer from chronic respiratory conditions worldwide, including 235 million people suffering from asthma and more than 200 million people enduring chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which is moderate to severe in 65 million. 8.7 million people develop tuberculosis annually and more than 50 million people struggle with occupational lung diseases. Respiratory diseases are also among the leading causes of death worldwide, with 3.5 million deaths being attributed to lower respiratory diseases, 3.3 million to COPD and 1.4 million to tracheal, bronchial or lung cancer.

    Building on over 10 years of research funded with over 14m € by Spanish and EU grant agencies (details here), we have developed a proprietary microbial engineering and synthetic biology toolbox that underpins a novel live biotherapeutics platform. Pulmobiotics will use its technology to discover and develop novel treatments and vaccines for respiratory diseases, which are among the most common causes of severe illness and death worldwide.


    Supported by the Institut de Ciències Fotòniques (ICFO) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Gerasimos Konstantatos and Frank Koppens
    Born in July 2020.

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    Qurv develops wide-spectrum image sensor technologies and integrated solutions to enable next-gen computer vision applications, addressing the expanding needs of an autonomous and intelligent new world.

    In the past, vision technologies were developed by capturing pictures from the type of information that can be detected by the human eye- ‘pretty’ pictures. With the emergence of powerful data science techniques, traditional imaging is shifting towards advanced sensing that unlocks new unprecedented capabilities destined to impact our society.

    Qurv's technology leverages current CMOS scalable manufacturing and advanced materials to unlock new levels of performance, reliability and function in XR devices, service robots and automotive.


    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.