Scientist working at a microscope


A spin-out company can be the best way to assemble a team of dedicated scientists and experts and attract the significant investment needed to develop a technology.

We have all the necessary support and expertise in-house to form new companies and long-term partnerships.

Ten companies have been developed from Crick science, each progressing discoveries from across cell therapy, vaccine, medical technology and small molecule therapeutics. They employ over 300 people and have raised more than £350m in follow-on investment.

Our oncology companies have established UK research and development (R&D) teams, running clinical trials in the UK, and enabling the exchange of knowledge and secondments between academia and industry.

Spin outs

Spin-out company

Artios Pharma Ltd 

Artios was established at the Babraham Research Campus in 2016, and in August 2018, the company raised £65 million. It was founded from in-licensing of two research programs from Cancer Research UK, one of which was discovered and developed in Simon Boulton’s lab at the London Research Institute, which is now part of the Crick.

Artios is developing new treatments that target DNA repair pathway vulnerabilities to selectively kill cancer cells either as mono-therapies or in combination with existing treatments. The company’s leading potential therapies will enter clinical trials in 2021.

In December 2020, Artios entered into a Global Strategic Collaboration with Merck KGaA to expedite the development of precision oncology medicines targeting DDR nuclease. As VP of Science Strategy (0.2FTE), Simon assists the executive team to identify and evaluate new pipeline opportunities from the global academic and industrial DDR network. He also chairs the Scientific Advisory Board and is a member of the Executive board.

Artios Pharma Ltd 

Spin-out company


Mihaly Kollo, a researcher in the Sensory Circuits and Neurotechnology Lab at the Crick, is part of a team developing an AI-powered map of research literature to help scientists navigate the ever-increasing number of scientific papers.

With the help of the Crick's translation team and an ‘idea to innovation’ grant funded by the MRC, the company was able to work with a specialist data scientist to create a unique machine learning system that ‘reads’ papers and extracts the experimental methods and results. The program can then compare similar studies, as well as show gaps in previous research where more work could be done. It has the potential to enable biomedical researchers in industry and academia to regain access to the exponentially growing body of scientific knowledge.

Metacognis was one of the first companies to take part in KQ Labs, the Crick’s start-up accelerator. The company has since secured its first partnership to validate the platform and has been recently granted a Horizon2020 FTI grant to develop its product.

Spotlight on Mihaly Kollo

spin-out company


mPixl was co-founded in 2020 by Ana Da Silva Gomes, a senior scientist in Dominique Bonnet’s group.

mPixl emerged after the lab which was awarded i2i funding for developing a concept and a follow up clinical study in collaboration with Barts Health NHS Trust. Following participation in the MedTechSuperConnector an Imperial-led medical entrepreneurship programme of which the Crick is a partner, Ana co-founded mPixl in 2020 with Stefan Videv, Director of Engineering at LiFi R&D Centre. The company aims to develop non-invasive image-based AI algorithms to more accurately detect and monitor in real time the progression, response to therapy, and relapse of blood cancers, without the need for painful and traumatic bone marrow biopsies.


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