Ona Therapeutics, the biotech company created by IRB Barcelona and ICREA that focuses on the development of a new drug for the treatment of metastatic cancer, has recently been named one of 2020’s Fierce 15 biotechnology companies by Fierce Biotech, a web resource that provides end-to-end coverage of biotech and medtech news, from pre-clinical science through clinical testing and regulatory approval—and all the seed funding, venture capital, licensing deals, IPOs and M&A news. According to this site, Ona Therapeutics is “one of the most promising private biotechnology companies in the industry”.

Fierce 15 is now in its 18th year recognising innovation healthcare companies, and Ona Therapeutics is the second Spanish spin-off that has ever been included in the list.

Founded in 2019 by IRB Barcelona research scientists Salvador Aznar-Benitah and alumni Valerie Vanhooren, Ona Therapeutics specialises in the discovery and development of therapeutic biologics targeting tumour metastatis-initiating cells and lipid metabolism. The company’s approach is based on pioneering work by Salvador Aznar-Benitah published in Nature in 2017 that validates metastasis-initiating cells as therapeutic targets in metastatic cancer. 

In May 2019 , Ona Therapeutics got a €1.5 million seed round from Asabys Partners, and in June 2020 the company obtained a Series A € 30 million round from an international syndicate of investors including Asabys Partners, Ysios Capital, Alta Life Science, BPI France and Fund plus. This has been largest private funding round closed for a start-up in Spain.

With regard to the recognition by Fierce 15, Valerie Vanhooren, CEO at Ona Therapeutics, says: “It is a great honor to be selected from hundreds of companies around the world as a Fierce 15 company. It has been a transformational year for Ona Therapeutics. Following one of the biggest Series A in Europe this year, this award validates our scientific approach and our commitment to developing first-in-class treatments for metastatic cancer patients. I would like to thank our team for their exceptional work, and we look forward to taking Ona Therapeutics to the next stage of development.”

Congratulations and best wishes for your next adventure, Ona!