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

  • VIRTUAL BODYWORKS

    Supported by the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS) and ICREA.
    Entrepeneurs:  ICREA Research Professors Mel Slater and Mavi Sanchez-Vives
    Formalised in December 2015.


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    VIRTUAL BODYWORKS

    Virtual Bodyworks S.L. founded by Mel Slater and Mavi Sanchez-Vives is a spin-off company from ICREA/UB/IDIBAPS. The investigator from UB Dr Bernhard Spanlang is also a partner in the company. The objective of Virtual Bodyworks S.L. is to apply immersive virtual reality in the context of health improvement, both physical and mental. To this end the company has developed several prototypes and applications that have been tested and evaluated in our incubator, the EVENT Lab (Experimental Virtual Environments in Neuroscience and Technology Lab) as well as by professionals from various institutions.

    The development has been funded so far by ERC Proof of Concept to MS (System for Embodied Relational Experiences, Project No. 620256) and FIPSE (Foundation for the innovation and future development of health in Spain) to MVS-V. A further ERC Proof of Concept to MS has recently been retained for funding and is currently under negotiation.

    Until recently immersive virtual reality was confined mainly to the laboratory due to the fixed nature and cost of the equipment installation. However, based on new consumer level hardware the company has acquired the capability for our virtual reality system to be moved ‘out of the lab’ into society.  A virtual reality system has many different components that need to be integrated and the company owns software that does this integration across multiple devices, facilitating the development of applications.

    Virtual Bodyworks S.L. won the first ever given prize to a virtual reality application by The App Date, in December 2015. This was for an application called ‘Freud-me’ that provides an immersive tool for people to give themselves counselling about personal problems from the perspective of another person, for example, in this case Dr Sigmund Freud (http://www.freud-me.com).

    An application of the technology under commercialisation by Virtual Bodyworks S.L. is currently on display at the CCCB in Barcelona in the exhibition in the exhibition ‘HUMANS+’ (http://www.cccb.org/en/exhibitions/file/human-/129032). This shows an interactive virtual environment that is simultaneously shared by others where people carry out tasks together. It illustrates the power of virtual reality both to transform a person to another space and to work collaboratively with people who physically remote, and yet are represented in a shared virtual world.

    Virtual Bodyworks SL has been selected  for participation in the accelerators ESADE EMPENTA and MUNICH RE.

  • EODYNE

    Supported by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and ICREA.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Paul Verschure.
    Born in November 2014.


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    EODYNE

    Eodyne Systems SL, a spin-off company from the research group SPECS (Synthetic, Perceptive, Emotive and Cognitive Systems) of the Center of Autonomous Systems and Neurorobotics (nras. upf.edu) at UPF, is launched to address one of the main health challenges our society is facing: functional recovery after brain damage which affects about 60 million people worldwide. Eodyne Systems SL will be commercializing a novel virtual reality based approach towards brain recovery and health, called the Rehabilitation Gaming System (RGS). RGS is based on the basic research performed by SPECS on the principles governing mind and brain and validated in collaboration with its clinical partners. After successfully treating about 400 patients at different stages of recovery after stroke and publishing the results in leading scientific journals and conferences, RGS is ready to be used by society. To achieve maximal distribution a commercial route is provided through the Eodyne Systems SL business strategy.

    The partners of Eodyne Systems SL are Professor Dr. Paul F.M.J. Verschure, director of SPECS Research Lab and the inventor of RGS,  Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) and Carmen Buisan, Senior project manager at SPECS.

    Eodyne’s flagship product, RGS, is a novel science-based solution for the integrated treatment of deficits that can result from stroke. RGS provides the global healthcare market with:

     

    * A low-cost tool for the neurorehabilitation of deficits in motor, affective, cognitive and linguistic capabilities due to brain damage

    * Applicability at all phases of treatment: acute and sub-acute (hospital or rehabilitation clinic) and chronic (home or health centre)

    * The active engagement of the patients in their rehabilitation following a personalized treatment approach

    * A system that empowers the patients and their social environment in the management of their own well being, customizing treatment to their means and lifestyle

    * An integrated system for remote treatment, diagnostics, monitoring and advise, allowing savings for patients and their relatives, primary healthcare providers, health centers and insurance companies

    * A life-long learning approach towards physical and mental health

    * A scientifically grounded state of the art ICT, artificial intelligence and virtual reality system that brings serious gaming to a qualitatively new level of deployment by integrating it with clinically validated methods and integrated solutions for diagnostic, monitoring and guidance.

    www.eodyne.com 

  • INNOVEX THERAPEUTICS

    Supported by ICREA, ISGlobal/CRESIB and IGTP.
    Entrepreneur: ICREA Research Professor Hernando A. del Portillo.
    Born in March 2014.


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    INNOVEX THERAPEUTICS

    INNOVEX THERAPEUTICS SL is the first Spanish spin-off company devoted to develop Exosomes as new platform for vaccines and diagnostic tools. Cornerstone of the spin-off is the discovery that reticulocyte-derived exosomes (rex) from malaria infections could be used as a new platform and vaccine against this disease. This approach is internationally protected (PCT/ EP2010/070800). Exosomes are 30-100 nm vesicles formed by endocytosis of segments of the plasma membrane. The internalized segment generates multivesicular bodies (MVBs) containing small vesicles that are released as exosomes following fusion of the MVBs with the plasma membrane. The company offers a new proprietary and flexible technological platform based on exosomes for the design, formulation and production of new vaccines and diagnostics. INNOVEX THERAPEUTICS SL was created in March 2014 by Hernando A. del Portillo and Francesc E. Borrás, with an accionary participation of three Research Institutions: ICREA, CRESIB and IGTP. Presently, it consists of two senior researchers, one junior researcher and one technician. The Scientific Advisory board is formed by Drs. Clotilde Théry (Institut Curie, France), Bernd Giebel (University Hospital Essen, Germany), Javier Martínez-Picado (ICREA at IRSICaixa) and Professor Hermann Bujard (University of Heidelberg, Germany). The management consultant is Dr. Carlos de Lecea (Lemus Buhils SL).

    INNOVEX THERAPEUTICS SL´s objective is to contribute to a better health through the development and commercialization of exosomes as new vaccine platforms and diagnostic tools for human and animal health. The company includes in its portfolio balanced projects and takes into consideration that they are not presently covered by the market, the size of the business opportunity, their target amplitude of use, chronicity of the products and competitive price positioning in each segment. Our strategy is to develop three commercialized products within the next three years, when the company expects to have a return of investment. The business plan is adapted to regulatory guidelines of the different products to avoid delay in its economic objectives, and foresees that investments in early studies not only become rapidly profitable but that they also serve as the basis for regulatory applications of the most complex products. The company has obtained free laboratory space for the next three years at IGTP – Campus Can Ruti, where it is presently operating. In addition, the
    company has received a first investment for developing a Proof-of-Concept of a new vaccine and is actually and actively seeking
    new investors. Transfer of the patent to the company was only possible through the generous and “example-to-follow” attitude of the four Institutions originally owning it: ICREA, CRESIB, Fundació Clínic and Fundació Privada CELLEX, which fully and legally supported this transfer. 

  • 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.

  • 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


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