Two biologists and a biotechnologist with a long national and international trajectory in reproduction and genetics, and an active businessman business angel decided a year ago to found HoMu Health Ventures, an incubator and venture builder, to support startups of the sector biotech focused on reproductive health.
“We detected a lack of investment support, not only in emerging companies, but also in the development of ideas from researchers. We decided that we would accompany companies and entrepreneurs in the initial stages and even from scratch ”, he explains Santi Munné, doctor in Human Biology, and one of the founders of the project.
Among the objectives of the company is become a benchmark in Europe as an incubator of startups specialized in reproductive medicine.
He’s on track to meet it after signing in late May an agreement with the Swiss biopharmaceutical multinational Ferrin Pharmaceuticals.
It is about from one of the only three European companies dedicated to the production of hormones for fertilization. This alliance already places HoMu as a benchmark in its field in southern Europe.
The multinational, based in Barcelona and a laboratory in Seville, broke into the market at the hands of doctors Santi Munné, José Horcajadas and David Cotán, together with businessman Delfí Torns, supported by indispensable professionals for these companies, such as lawyers and patent experts.
They chose a high point in the sector biotech, which managed to attract investment by value of 226 million euros last year, according to figures from Biocat and CataloniaBio & HealthTech, centers that promote innovation in this field, in Catalonia.
HoMu has assumed a role that it considers essential to promote innovation in this sector. On the one hand, it supports emerging companies in their startups and, on the other, it turns good ideas into business. “In our universities there is a lot of talent but innovation has it very difficult to go from the laboratory to the industry“.
“We have proposed to support researchers who wish to develop their project and who, for regulatory reasons, they must leave the university field, something really unthinkable in the United States for example “, says Munné.
Initial boost and funding
HoMu helps to create a viable project from an idea, is in charge of completing the technical and business profiles that every company requires and accompanies it in the search for financing, “at the same time that, like venture builder, we also invest in all of them “, he points out.
Focused on the biotechnology sector, and with an activity preferably dedicated to reproductive medicine, HoMu “also seeks projects related to genomics, medical devices or those focused on Artificial Intelligence, diagnostics, new drugs, innovative products or telemedicine “.
It has its own capital to financially support emerging companies in their phase pre-seed Y seed. In this sense, the incubator carried out a capital increase, last March, for one million euros, which will be allocated to its expansion, in which they participated business angels and executives from the health sector nationally and internationally.
In its first year of activity, Nine projects have emerged from HoMu, four of them focused on reproductive health, like Genotica, the first markedplace on the market that helps physicians to compare and choose the best genetic test for their patients.
There are also five other projects aimed at areas such as oncology or genomics. To support the search for financing and investments of these startups, HoMu has recently closed an agreement with Capital Cell, the first crowdfunding from Europe specialized in biomedicine.
Munné announces that at the end of the year, the company will carry out a second and larger investment round targeting recognized investors, “that provide volume and stability to the project, to continue supporting the startups arising from HoMu and capturing new business ideas. “
For now, he assures, more than 50% of the shareholding remains in the hands of the partners founders.