RCSI spin-out companies

We encourage experienced entrepreneurs and investors to talk to us about the creation of high potential start-up (HPSU) companies based on RCSI IP (spin-outs) or aligned with RCSI’s research focus (spin-ins).

Ireland has several Government-funding schemes to support entrepreneurs seeking to create HPSUs based on IP from higher education institutes including the Enterprise Ireland Business Partner Programme.

RCSI’s Office of Research and Innovation can advise investors and entrepreneurs on accessing our pipeline opportunities and explain how RCSI can support spin-out company formation and the technology transfer process.

 Please contact us if you are interested in investing in or leading early-stage companies. 

Approved RCSI spin-outs

RCSI has a number of pipeline approved spin-out companies currently seeking investment and collaboration opportunities, including:

Inthelia logoA spin-out from the group of Professor Steve Kerrigan of the RCSI School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Inthelia Therapeutics is focused on developing new treatments for sepsis, a disease which is one of the leading causes of critical illness and death worldwide.

Inthelia Therapeutics' lead drug candidate, Cilengitide, is a potent inhibitor of αVβ3 integrin signalling with an excellent PK and safety profile. Cilengitide has been shown to significantly increase survival in a rat in vivo sepsis model by disrupting the mechanism by which pathogens such as S. aureus and E. coli trigger endothelial cell dysfunction which leads to septic shock and organ failure. This novel, non-antibiotic, approach represents a promising new treatment pathway for patients with sepsis.

The seed investment sought will be used to complete GLP pre-clinical studies and GMP scale-up and manufacture of the API. The intention is for the company to then proceed directly to a phase II – proof of concept study in sepsis.

Interested parties please contact Dr Aoife Gallagher

Vertigenius logoA joint RCSI/TCD spin-out from the group of Dr Dara Meldrum (formerly of the RCSI School of Physiotherapy, now at the School of Medicine, Trinity College Dublin), Vertigenius is developing an digital platform that lets physiotherapists design, prescribe and deploy custom exercises in an easy to use clinician portal.

Patients have access to an easy-to-use smartphone app which digitally delivers, measures and tracks vestibular rehabilitation. The app is combined with Vertigenius’ breakthrough head sensor which connects easily with Bluetooth to the patient’s phone and tracks the head movement while exercising leading to iterative improvements in outcomes. With a portfolio of three breakthrough products in one platform, Vertigenius is digitizing vestibular rehabilitation to deploy, treat and measure outcomes for patients and clinicians.

The seed investment sought will be used to drive market growth and support the scale-up and manufacture of the platform hardware and software.

Interested parties please contact Dr Aoife Gallagher

A spin-out from the group of Prof. Mauro Adamo of the RCSI Department of Chemistry, KelAda Pharmachem was established in 2013 to acquire and develop intellectual assets in the pharmachemical space.

The company’s model is to in-license and develop novel chemistry into scalable processes which can then be out-licensed to major pharmaceutical players. This development is done by a team of chemists with many combined years' experience of chemical process development and manufacturing.

Interested parties please contact Dr Derek John.

ProbmetA spin-out from the group of Prof. Leonie Young of the RCSI Department of Surgery, with co-founders Prof. Arnie Hill and Dr Damir Vareslija, PrOBMet is a precision oncology therapeutics company that is developing targeted treatments for breast cancer brain metastatic patients. The team will lead the development of breakthrough targeted therapies for metastatic breast cancer in the brain, a devastating disease that currently has limited treatment options.

Following extensive global characterisation of genomic changes in primary and metastatic brain metastasis ADAM22 was identified as a new drugable target with ADAM22 expression in the primary tumour associated with poor disease free survival. PrOBMet’s lead candidate is peptide mimetic against the natural ligand LGI1 which significantly reduced primary and metastatic burden and phenomenally obliterated brain metastatic disease in studies.

Probmet is currently a participant in the BioInnovation Institute (BII) Venture Lab acceleration program for early-stage companies. The programme will enable the team to de-risk the opportunity and seek further investment.

Interested parties please contact Dr Aoife Gallagher

A spin-out from the group of Professor Richard Costello of the RCSI School of Medicine, Phyxiom is developing an AI platform that transforms the clinical outcomes of patients with uncontrolled asthma.

Phyxiom offers a unique solution for the 12 million people who suffer from uncontrolled asthma in the US through its 100% digital business model that is device and medication independent and delivered by a proven world-class team of clinical and technology professionals.

The Phyxiom technology is the result of 10 years' of clinical research at RCSI developing a family of patented algorithms and software platforms for the management of chronic respiratory disease. Phyxiom’s unique platform supports precise diagnosis and treatment of uncontrolled asthma through clinically validated patented algorithms to deliver individualised patient care using the patient’s own data potentially leading to over $13.5bn p.a. in identified savings to the US healthcare system alone.

Interested parties please contact Dr Derek John.

Oncolize logoA spin-out from the group of  Professor Helena Kelly of the RCSI School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Oncolize is developing a thermoresponsive gel drug delivery platform (ChemoGel) for targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics to solid tumours of the pancreas.

ChemoGel is an injectable liquid at room temperature and undergoes gelation inside the tumour to provide a localised depot for the sustained release of chemotherapeutics. Local delivery to the tumour greatly increases drug exposure with the benefits of reduced systemic side effects. In pancreatic cancer, ChemoGel offers a solution to the unmet need for non-systemic neoadjuvant treatments to reduce tumour size for non-resectable pancreatic cancer patients to bring them back into the resectable range. ChemoGel is aligned with current treatment pathways and is compatible with standard surgical equipment and imaging systems.

The seed investment sought will be used to complete GLP pre-clinical studies and GMP scale-up for the ChemoGel technology. We intend to raise a follow-on Series A round to commence first in man studies in. Early proof of concept in pancreatic cancer will be obtained via a phase 1b trial.

Interested parties please contact Dr Derek John.

ChemoGel: A thermoresponsive drug delivery platform for intratumoral delivery of chemotherapeutics in pancreatic cancer tech summary PDF | 358.5 KB

Pipeline spin-outs

RCSI has a number of pipeline spin-outs who are actively seeking to raise investment and to build out their teams, including:

Pumpinheart logoA spin-out from the group of Dr Aamir Hameed of the RCSI Department of Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine, Pumpinheart Ltd is developing, PReduction, a transcatheter implantable left ventricular assist device (LVAD) for the treatment of Heart Failure with Preserved Ejection Fraction (HFpEF).

HFpEF currently accounts for approximately 50% of all the cases of HF and is estimated to cost the US healthcare system $26.55 billion by 2030, $21.24bn of which is expected to be spent on hospitalisation alone. To date, no pharmacological or device-based therapy has yet been shown to improve survival in randomised controlled trials of patients with HFpEF. Hence, it is a major unmet clinical need with an estimated total available market for the PReduction device of $32bn.

The €8m seed investment sought, includes €5m for a five-year preclinical phase 2023-2027 and €3m for a first in human clinical trial during the period 2026-2027.

Interested parties please contact Dr Derek John.

A spin-out from the groups of Professor Sally-Ann Cryan of the RCSI School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences and Professor Andreas Heise of the RCSI School of Chemistry, StarMAT is developing a novel, patented, non-viral drug delivery technology based on Star Polypeptides.

Despite recent progress with advanced drug delivery technologies, there remain some significant drug development issues with the clinical translation of biotherapeutics and ATMPs due to the lack of suitable delivery vectors.

To address this unmet need, StarMAT have developed a synthetic platform which produces materials which are:

  1. Fully programmable in terms of structure and function enabling encapsulation of drugs with a variety of physicochemical properties e.g. RNA, DNA, proteins and small molecules.
  2. Effective with difficult-to-deliver-to targets such as macrophages, stem cells, respiratory epithelial cells etc.
  3. Have enhanced biocompatibility compared to other delivery vectors.
  4. Easily and inexpensively fabricated and stable upon storage.

StarMAT’s mission is to revolutionise the formulation of the next generation of therapeutics. The team's vision is that StarMat will be the global leader and partner of choice in the development and supply of bespoke polypeptide derived drug delivery vectors.

Interested parties please contact Dr Derek John.

STARMAT - A versatile star polypeptide platform for oligonucleotide drug delivery tech summary PDF | 429.7 KB

A spin-out from the group of Professor Mauro Adamo of the RCSI School of Chemistry, MolecuNav is developing a synthetic fluorination platform which is operationally simple, high-yielding and fast and which enables the introduction of fluorine into drug molecules (both small molecules and biologics) in a way which either could not be done previously, or could only be done at huge expense of time and financial resources. MoleculNav provides products and services to the pharmaceutical industry to enable medicinal chemists and DMPK groups access fluorinated and fluorine radiolabelled analogues of their development candidates.

Through MolecuNav’s patented chemistry, pharmaceutical companies can accelerate the triage of these early-stage pharmaceuticals by enabling a more detailed understanding of the compounds’ stability, metabolism and distribution.

MolecuNav’s mission is to be the global leader in the provision of fluorine tagging products and services to the pharmaceutical industry.

Interested parties please contact Dr Derek John.

LEP Bio logoA spin-out from the group of Dr Alan Hibbitts of the RCSI School of Anatomy and Regenerative Medicine, Local Enhanced Pharmaceutics (LEP) Biomedical Ltd has developed HyaGuard, a proprietary sub-conjunctival platform to combat inflammation and fibrosis (scarring) in post-surgery glaucoma patients.

Poor outcomes and the need for repeat interventions in glaucoma drainage and tube insertion surgeries are strongly linked to uncontrolled post-operative inflammation and fibrosis. Poor patient adherence to post-surgical drop regimes often contributes to sub-optimal outcomes, costly rescue/repeat surgeries and is a significant negative impact on patient quality of life.

To address this unmet need, HyaGuard has been designed as a biodegradable drug delivery platform which is rapidly inserted as an adjunct product to the primary surgery. HyaGuard is loaded to deliver anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic molecules in a controlled manner that specifically matches the inflammatory cascade.

This inhibits inflammation and fibrosis at key stages of the wound healing process thereby improving surgical outcomes and eliminating the burden of patient-administered drugs and repeat surgical procedures.

Interested parties please contact Dr Derek John.

An ENT-focused spin-out from the group of Professor Fergal O’Brien of the RCSI Tissue Engineering Research Group, Tympulse Medical’s first product, TympanoColl, is a new technology for the fast and effective repair of damaged tympanic membranes.

Chronic tympanic membrane (TM) perforations result from chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) infections and tympanostomy tube holes. Yearly, unresolved perforations account for 6% of the 65-330 million CSOM infections worldwide with approximately 11,000 children and 20,000 adults annually in USA alone.

Additionally, the placement of tympanostomy tubes is one of the biggest indications for childhood surgery (1.26 million annual procedures in the USA alone) however insufficient TM healing occurs in 1-2% of cases. Tympanoplasty surgery is the only treatment option for these case which carries a risk of complications including site morbidity, nerve damage and general anesthesia side effects that restricts treatment in pediatric patients. All these limitations are the driving forces behind the development of our superior alternative, TympanoColl, which can treat TM perforations with fewer steps, in less time and with minimal discomfort to the patient.

Interested parties please contact Dr Derek John.

A pipeline spin-out from the group of Dr Cian O’Leary of the RCSI School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Renovate Pharma is developing inhaled, antifibrotic therapies for chronic respiratory diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

The global IPF market is currently valued at $3bn and predicted to reach $6-$8bn by 2030. IPF will be an entry point into new therapeutic indications for other fibrotic lung diseases and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Our portfolio of inhaled medicines proposes to offer drug combination regimens with minimal side effects and maximal efficacy to the benefit of patients, care providers and payers.

The Renovate Pharma team has a complementary mix of pharmaceutical expertise, fundamental scientific knowledge, and research commercialisation and aim to make Renovate Pharma a global leader in the development and exploitation of novel inhaled therapeutics for chronic lung diseases.

Interested parties please contact Dr Derek John.

Founded by Dr Brona Murphy, Dr Katja Rybakova and Dr Ayoub Lasri of RCSI’s Department of Physiology & Medical Physics, Cellgebra is developing digital twins of cell signalling networks for the purpose of cancer drug discovery.

The high failure rate of cancer drug development projects due to lack of efficacy is strongly related to poor choice of drug targets and the lack of appropriate patient selection strategies in clinical trials. Cellgebra aims to reduce this attrition rate by creating in silico copies of cell signalling networks to:

  • identify drug responsive patients;
  • predict drug resistance mechanisms;
  • identify existing drugs mode of action; and
  • identify new drug targets and combinations of targets.

Interested parties please contact Dr Derek John.