Close Success Stories Nostrum Biodiscovery

Project leader

Modesto Orozco

Start year


Participating organizations

IRB Barcelona, BSC-CNS, UB, ICREA, Nostrum BioDiscovery (NDB) and Botín Foundation (FB)

Project aims

To facilitate launch to market of new biotechnology drugs and molecules through computer simulation. The company has cutting-edge bioinformatics and modeling technology to accelerate and drive down the cost of designing new drugs, which are increasingly complex and costly, and advanced towards precision medicine. The advantages could save up to €40 million for each new drug, a 15% – 20% cost reduction in the initial phase.

Collaboration framework

Nostrum BioDiscovery is the result of the synergy between IRB Barcelona and BSC-CNS, two research centers of excellence in Barcelona with powerful research teams developing experimental and in silico technology. Nostrum BioDiscovery has cutting-edge bioinformatics and modeling technology developed by researchers Modesto Orozco and Víctor Guallar (IRB Barcelona and BSC, respectively), with support from the University of Barcelona and the Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), which is why they are shareholders in the spin-off. The Botín Foundation has participated as a catalyst for technology transfer, as well as providing €500,000 in seed capital through the Mind the Gap program.

Most significant challenges

Nostrum BioDiscovery was created at a time of transformation in the pharmaceutical industry, which is moving from in-house drug discovery to a model in which research and development programs are being partially outsourced. This opened doors for the first spin-off to come out of collaboration among four institutions with very different characteristics.

The most important difficulty has been to design the right collaboration and transfer framework, coordinating the different legal requirements of each of the institutions. This has been possible thanks to the drive of the entrepreneurs and the transfer departments at each institution, plus the help of the Botín Foundation.


The first round of funding for Nostrum BioDiscovery, led by the Botín Foundation, raised €500,000. Plus, the company has recently been awarded a CDTI Neotec grant, recognizing its level of excellence.

Just one year after being founded, Nostrum BioDiscovery is already working for some of the largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on the international scene, including AstraZeneca.

Plus, the tools the company uses have been applied to new targets for various diseases including cancer, cardiovascular conditions and anti-infection drugs. Alliances have been forged with groups at research centers and hospitals: the company has applied its technology to these targets while the academic collaborators work on validating them.