Using zebrafish to discover new molecules is ten times cheaper than using rodents, and is just as effective
ZeClinics is a Start-up company offering an outsourcing solution for pre-clinical safety and efficacy screenings of novel compounds using Zebrafish, a revolutionary animal model system. Our services are offered to Academia and Pharma; with potential extension to a wider range of industries: Cosmetic, Food, Wastewater, Chemical, and Agriculture.
Zebrafish is a powerful animal model to generate high valuable biologic information and, simultaneously, to reduce costs, time and molecule quantity during the drug discovery and development preclinical stages. Additionally, by using zebrafish, we improve replacing, reducing and refining (3Rs) animal experimentation. Our strength relies on an extensive experience in zebrafish research, combined with institutional support and fruitful collaborations with academics and other biotech companies. ZeClinics is implementing a dynamic and strong R&D program to feed our service portfolio and help us discover our own therapeutical molecules in the future
Cerchiamo investitori per realizzare ZeOncoTest, un progetto di ricerca che permetterà determinare in maniera personalizzata, affidabile ed economica, il miglior trattamento antitumorale per pazienti con cancro.
ZeClinics è un’impresa biotech con sede a Barcellona che offre servizi di ricerca preclinica per testare nuovi farmaci utilizzando zebrafish, un nuovo e rivoluzionario modello di sperimentazione animale. ZeClinics offre i suoi servizi a case farmaceutiche, centri di ricerca ed estendibile ad altre industrie: cosmetica, alimentare, chimica.
Zebrafish possiede una enorme similitudine struttura, funzionale e genetica con gli esseri umani, e permette di predire con precisione la potenziale tossicità o il meccanismo di azione di un composto. Dal punto di vista pratico questo modello animale offre una serie di importanti vantaggi per realizzare saggi preclinici: occupa poco spazio, è trasparente, si riproduce facilmente e possiede un ciclo vitale veloce e permette che i farmaci possano essere amministrati direttamente nell’acqua.
Questi e altri aspetti fanno di zebrafish un modello animale ideale per la ricerca scientifica.
Lo zebrafish é un modello animale che permette di ottenere informazioni di alto valore biologico e ridurre i costi, tempi e quantità di composto utilizzato- un fattore critico nella fase di drug discovery, che rappresenta la fase iniziale dello sviluppo di un nuovo medicinale. Inoltre, utilizzando zebrafish si rimpiazza, riduce, e raffina (3 R’s) la sperimentazione sugli animali. Questo significa che grazie al nostro lavoro, si useranno moltissimo meno animali in fasi sperimentali posteriori.
ZeClinics offre alle imprese che ricercano nuovi farmaci, la possibilità di ridurre i loro costi e i tempi usando zebrafish per predire l’effetto di quest’ultimi sugli esseri umani. I nostri servizi permettono di scartare i composti tossici e/o di poca efficacia prima di cominciare le carissima fase preclinica in mammiferi (prevalentemente topi), obbligatoria per lo sviluppo di medicinali.
Questo round di finanziamento ha l’obbiettivo di 100.000 €; 80.000 € verranno destinati al ZeOncoTest e altri 20.000 € ad attività commerciali.
Il ZeOncoTest è un sistema che permetterà di valutare l’effetto di un medicinale antitumorale in diversi tipi di tumore usando zebrafish. Aiuterà a determinare se per un tipo di tumore X può funzionare un tipo di medicamento Y. Lo sviluppo del test compirà tre obbiettivi. Il primo è offrirlo a ospedali dove lo potranno usare per individuare qual è la miglior terapia per ogni paziente: quello che adesso si chiama medicina personalizzata. Il secondo obbiettivo è offrirlo a case farmaceutiche come saggio che aiuti a scopri nuovi farmaci efficaci contro il cancro. Il terzo obbiettivo è usarlo all’interno dei ZeClinics per scoprire internamente nuovi antitumorali.
Questi 100.000 € appartengono a un piano di investimenti di 3 anni per un totale di 380.000 € che ZeClinics ha elaborato; il quale sarà sufficiente per ottenere i nostri obbiettivi commerciali e permettere la crescita dell’impresa. Gli investimenti si suddivideranno nel seguente modo:
Durante l’esercizio 2014 (il primo di ZeClinics) l’impresa ha già registrato dei profitti. I dettagli sono disponibili per essere consultati.
Per il 2015 abbiamo già fatturato 10.589,09 da due clienti. La proiezione di fatturazione sulla base di le trattative che abbiamo in corso con potenziali clienti è di circa. 60.000 €, ottenendo 3 nuovi clienti, che si aggiungeranno ai clienti dell’anno scorso i quali continuano a richiedere i nostri servizi.
L’accordo di investimento concede i seguenti diritti:
ZeClinics offers the possibility to Pharmaceutical companies and academic groups of reducing budget and time by using zebrafish to test their compounds in drug discovery phase and to mimic unique human disease models. Our services can help to reject toxic and not functional drugs before regulated non-clinical phases.
Zebrafish shares a high degree of analogies with humans, which permits to predict with certainty the toxicity and mechanism of action that a drug could have when administered to humans. Zebrafish larvae have many interesting features from a research-to-business point of view: small size, transparency, fast life-cycle and external development, which allow an easy drug administration and posterior analysis. Moreover, from early on their organs are completely functional.
Those aspects make zebrafish an ideal model for cheap and fast chemical screenings.
ZeClinics has a 3-year investment plan of 380k to achieve our specific business goals and help the company grow. For that, we will invest in the following areas:
We will raise 100k in this investing round: 80,000€ will be destined to the ZeOncoTest, and 20,000€ will be allocated for commercial activity.
In 2014, its very first fiscal year, ZeClinics turned a 16K profit - details are available upon request.
In 2015 our first month sales have been 10.589,09 €, with projected sales of around 60K and 3 new customers, and increased business from our existing customers.
1- Profit dividends. From 2017 dividends from the services business (CRO) will be distributed.
2 - Recapitalization. From 2018 recapitalization could be brought by license sales of new drugs derived from the Pharma activity.
-> The estimated TIR is 0,3649 € per € invested (TIR: 36,49%)*
*meaning by 2017 you would be getting 36 cents to the euro, and you would still hold your shares which would by then have increased their value.
Our investor agreements grants every investor the following rights:
Yes, you can get a tax cut by investing in Zeclinics. And a fat one too, as long as you pay taxes in Spain ;)
Please read the following information:
Aplicable a empresas de reciente creación (menos de 3 años de vida) que permiten beneficiarse de deducciones fiscales:
El siguiente gráfico detalla el porcentaje de una inversión que es posible deducirse del IRPF, según la comunidad autónoma de residencia (la deducción del tramo autonómico es acumulable, de forma consecutiva, con la estatal).
¿Cuáles son las limitaciones y exclusiones?
¿Qué pasará en el futuro si alguien compra mis participaciones?
En ese caso, estarías obteniendo ganancias por transmisión de participaciones. La nueva Ley de Emprendedores establece que estas ganancias no tributen en la declaración de la renta, siempre y cuando se vuelvan a invertir en otra empresa de nueva creación.
ZeClinics was born in 2013 inside the UPF environment. It was founded by postdoctoral scientists and PhD students from that same University. From the starting phase, the founder team has benefitted from the infrastructure provided by the Health and Experimental Sciences Department (DCEXS) of UPF, placed at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB). In addition, advice from the UPF-Business Shuttle has helped ZeClinics to transform an idea into a business. The team is composed by 4 members:
Davide D’Amico, PhD, Chief Executive officer (CEO)
During his undergraduate studies he worked at the University Medical Centrum (Amsterdam, ND) and at the Department of Biomedical Engineering of the University of Florida (USA). He received MsC in Medical Biotechnology in 2008 and a PhD in Biomedicine, in the Neurobehavioral Phenotyping of Mouse models of Disease group at the Center for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona (Spain) in 2013. Davide has deep knowledge on the effects of several neuroactive drugs on a wide series of animal behaviors and central nervous system functions.
Javier Terriente, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer (CSO)
He graduated in Biochemistry in 2000 in Granada University (Spain). In 2006, he obtained a PhD in Molecular Biology at the CBM-SO (Madrid, Spain). After his PhD, he held a postdoctoral position at the NIMR (London, UK). From September 2011, he is a member of the Developmental Biology Group-DECXS, UPF Barcelona (Spain). He has published several papers and reviews about zebrafish development and the use of this animal to model human diseases. Javier is an expert in zebrafish development and the exploitation of this animal model in pre-clinical assays.
Ignasi Sahún Abizanda, PhD, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)
Ignasi graduated in Criminology in 1996 at the University of Barcelona and in Psychology in 2001 at the Ramon Llull University. He received his PhD in Neuroscience in 2006. From that time, he worked during six years as a postdoctoral researcher in the Neurobehavioral Phenotyping of Mouse models of Disease group, CRG in Barcelona (Spain). From 2012 Ignasi is working in the Applied Laboratory Animals of the Barcelona Science Park, University of Barcelona. Ignasi has a large experience in drug-treatment of different animal models for behavioral tests and phenotypical characterization.
Simone Calzolari, PhD, Chief Technical Officer (CTO)
During his Biotechnology Bachelor he stayed for a short period in the IBMB-CSIC (Barcelona). After that period, he developed his Master project at the Stem cell Institute (Leuven, Belgium). He obtained MsC in Molecular Biotechnology by the University of Bologna (Italy) in 2008 and a PhD in Biomedicine by the DCEXS, UPF Barcelona (Spain) in 2013. During his PhD, Simone acquired a high technical and theoretical experience in the manipulation of zebrafish embryos.
The following departments are proposed:
I. Research. The core department of the company, responsible for all scientific product development and data production, that gives meaning customer contracts and internal research projects. This department is divided into the three main experimental areas: Toxicology, Cancer and CNS disorders. A link area of research is the ZeGenesis, working mostly to develop genetically modified zebrafish models related to Cancer and CNS disorders. The Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), in close collaboration with the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) and hired technician, leads it. Other services, not offered by ZeClinics or complementing ZeClinics portfolio will be offered by partnering Biotech companies
II. R&D. This department, led by an internal committee that combines technical, scientific, marketing and financial issues, together with hired technician/s and R&D scientist, aims to address the challenge of generating new experimental paradigms, improve existing ones and ensure the production of knowledge and technology sensitive of being patented and marketed as ZeClinics internal brand. Our strategy is, when necessary, to outsource collaborations with professionals to develop the products, establishing different types of compensation depending on the product characteristics. In this department we think and develop products such as the ZeGlobalTox and ZeOncoTest. External technological partners will be included in this department to help ZeClinics developing the technologies associated with the new services
III. Marketing & Commercial: In order to optimize our resources it will be a unique department leaded by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), in collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). This department is in charge of identifying the opportunities, design the profile for potential targets, define the value proposal in coordination with the research department and prepare the material to deliver the proposal together with the action plan to maximize the sales efforts. However, upon extensive analysis by the founder team and external advisors some marketing and commercial activities will be outsourced to key strategic partners worldwide with collaborative agreements that will reduce ZeClinics incoming from those Service Contracts (usually between 12 and 20% of the sales in those given regions), but will increase the reached areas and number of contracts.
IV. Financial and human resources: As with the “Marketing & Commercial” department, financial and human resources will be constituted as a single department, leaded by the CEO, in collaboration with the CMO. This department is in charge of looking for external resources, grants, prized and fundings. It is also responsible for administrative tasks like accountability, financial planning, and reporting. Also it may manage legal aspects (e.g. employee’s contracts, etc.) with our hired external legal advisors at Consiliors Consulting, Tax & Legal.
V. Scientific Advisory Board: To help us in the process of building and expansion strategy, ZeClinics has already got in touch with important scientific and business related professionals. Our aim is to count with a highly experimented Scientific and Business Advisory Board. We believe these advisors not only will help us to give personality and shape to our business. At the same time, their prominence, help and network will allows us to gain a major credibility and access to our target markets. It can count already in the person of Prof. Florian Engert from Harvard University.
All these departments, especially in the initial 3 years of consolidation of the company, will closely work and interact continuously in defining and operating strategic decisions and procedures.
The team works closely with the Innovation Unit-UPF Business Shuttle, the department promoting the transfer of technologies and knowledge generated in the university and support on business affairs for former UPF alumni.
Strategic partnerships will be set up both for different objectives of the company expanding the expertise with those skills not covered by the founder team:
- Technological development with Noldus Information Technologies, a Dutch company leader in developing automated systems and software for animal sciences.
- In the frame of the MSCA_ITN_ETN UE grant, ZeClinics has a strong partnership/collaborations with top scientists affiliated to the institutions from 14 countries (Fondazione Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (ITT) – Department of Neuroscience and Brain Technologies (NBT), Italy; Deutsches Zentrum fur Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen (DZNE) and Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Germany; Universiteit van Amsterdam (UVA), Faculteit der Natuurwetenschappen, Wiskunde en Informatica (SILS), The Netherlands; University College London (UCL), Institute Child Health (ICH), United Kingdom; Institut de Biologie de Développement de Marseille (IBDM), France; Alexander Fleming (FLEMING) B.S.R.C., Greece; Foundation of Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) – Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB), Greece; Philipps-Universitat Marburg (UMAR), Department of Medicine, Germany; Miltenyi Biotec GmbH (MiBio); 3Brain GmbH (3BRAIN), Switzerland).
- In the frame of the EUROSTAR UE grant ZeClinics has strong partnership/collaborations with top scientists affiliated to the following institutions/companies: Noldus Information Technologies and Chardon Pharma, The Netherlands.
The Department of Experimental and Health Sciences (DCEXS) was founded by Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and gives full support to the ZeClinics project.
The University Pompeu Fabra Business Shuttle department guarantees the positioning of ZeClinics in the fascinating and dynamic business of the Catalan Bio Region.
The PRBB, one of the largest scientific infrastructures in Europe dedicated to biomedical research, offers the highest technological and networking platform to ensure the best quality of ZeClinics services.
ReadyCell is a biotechnological company focused on providing sophisticated in vitro tools and R+D services for the ADME-Tox segment and with ZeClinics agreement increases its spectrum performance.
Mind the Byte is a research technology company specialized developing, providing and using scientific cloud solutions and data analysis. They offer specific cloud products and services for computational chemistry, cosmetics, veterinary, agro, food and blue growth.
SynphaTec Japon is the only Japanese company founded by a western researcher and bridging smart R&D services from Europe to speed up scientific discovery and development, especially at pharmaceutical companies.
ABAC Therapeutics is committed to finding therapeutic solutions for patients that are infected with highly antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens and that leave affected patients with few (or no) treatment options.
The purpose of Spanish Drug Discovery Network (SDDN) is to create a forum where professionals working in Spain in the discovery and development of new drugs to know each other better, exchange ideas and discuss new initiatives and trends in the sector.
EuropaBio is the European Association for Bioindustries and was created in 1996. They mission is to create an innovative and dynamic biotechnology-based industry in Europe. They are actively engaged in raising awareness of the benefits of biotechnology to all corners of society and to increase the knowledge and understanding of our industry.
ZeClinics designs and conducts clinical tests in Zebrafish, doing in less time, for less money and with smaller amounts of drugs what other Clinical Research Operators do with other animals (usually mice). Based in Barcelona, the company has been active for two years, is already selling and is one of the foremost specialists in clinical research with zebrafish.
1. ZeClinics differential features
The advantages of using an animal model such as zebrafish for drug screening are multiple:
Our business/research approach requires specific and certified animal houses and top-notch infrastructures, together with a human team with a deep expertise in the use of this untraditional model organism. In this regard, ZeClinics services are innovative and have a solid background, whose bases are:
2. Description of ZeClinics services
ZeClinics strength lies in our extensive experience in zebrafish research and our permanent collaboration with academics, imaging processing experts and other biotech companies, which allow us to perform and improve high-throughput assays to test the safety of chemical compounds with pharmaceutical, cosmetic or nutritional potential.
We also offer a growing portfolio of efficacy assays to test the biomedical relevance of novel compounds in the fields of oncology and neural disorders. However, our main value is our ability to listen to customer requirements and develop custom assays to test compounds in many biomedical contexts such as metabolism, anti-microbiology or other diseases. We are also able to collaborate with academic groups to take promising molecules to the next level or test research hypothesis using zebrafish.
Long-term toxicity can be predicted from studies during early life-stages, making zebrafish larvae a suitable model for toxicology screening. ZeClinics initiates every molecule safety study by testing its Acute Toxicity. This assay allows assessing the possible lethality and teratogenicity. It also provides values of LC50, EC50 and NOEC. Embryos from these treatments can be used to test ADME (Biodisponibility) of any given molecule (Service available upon request). To warrant the safety of any given molecule, and once the NOEC value is established, ZeClinics can proceed to test the putative toxic effects on specific tissues known to be affected by novel drugs – i.e.: Liver (Hepatotoxicity), Heart (Cardiotoxicity) or CNS (Neurotoxicity).
Therefore, ZeClinics offers the following toxicity tests:
Cancer is, after cardiovascular diseases, the leading cause of death in developed economies. This has prompted a great interest in the pharmaceutical industry for searching novel cancer therapies. Zebrafish shares all the major molecular pathways and molecules involved in human cancer. Thus, it is establishing itself as a very important animal model for understanding cancer genetics, generating cancer models and looking for novel treatments.
ZeClinics offers a number of assays to test the efficacy of novel molecules with potential antioncogenic activity:
ZeEfficacy: Central Nervous System
One in every three persons worldwide suffers some kind of neural disorder. Therefore, neuroprotective, anxiolytic or antidepressant drugs are major target for the pharmaceutical industry. ZeClinics is developing a number of assays to test the impact of novel drugs on behavior, as a way to understand their possible efficacy as neural disorder therapies:
Up to 82% of genes implicated in human diseases have functional homologues in zebrafish. Morpholinos (genetic knockdown) and genome-editing technologies (genetic knockout and knocking) allow the generation of mutants/genetic disease models for a deeper understanding on the pathology. Moreover, this zebrafish disease models are very useful for performing high-throughput drug discovery. ZeClinics provides its expertise in transgenic manipulation and zebrafish biology for generating mutant and knock-in lines, phenotyping and their use for custom drug screenings.
3. Services under development (ZeClinics R&D).
ZeClinics is implementing an R&D program aiming at increasing our Service portfolio and our future Drug discovery program. It focuses in two different areas: