Close Success Stories Leukos Biotech

Project leader

Ruth M. Risueño

Start year


Participating organizations

Josep Carreras Leukemia Foundation, Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute

Project aims

To develop a new class of drugs around a therapeutic target that selectively destroys leukemia stem cells. This discovery opens the doors to a new therapeutic strategy to treat recurring cancer.

Collaboration framework

Leukos Biotech was founded in October 2015 by the Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute and Dr. Ruth M. Risueño. The Josep Carreras Leukemia Foundation has funded the company's first phases of development. In July 2016, the Inveready investment group joined the project, leading the first round of funding. Dr. Enrique Llaudet joined the company as partner and CEO in February 2016.

Most significant challenges

Thanks to its partners, Leukos was able to overcome the liquidity problems common in the first years of any biotech company. Like the majority of companies in the sector, some of the main challenges this spin-off has faced were in the regulatory arena, as it is essential to prove that product development complies with quality and benefit requirements in order to start a clinical trial with patients. From a commercial standpoint, the main difficulty is to generate a product profile that attracts the interest of pharmaceutical corporations willing to acquire a license to its patent.


Leukos Biotech closed a first round of investment led by Inveready, as well as public grants valued at more than €500,000.

In terms of product development, a phase II clinical trial is expected for mid-2018 with LMA patients and a new diagnosis kit for LMA has been developed and is currently in the clinical validation phase. The company has applied for 3 patents.