R-nuucell is a biotechnology company focused on the
discovery and development of innovative chemotherapeutics to treat
R-nuucell 's mission is to develop innovative
chemotherapeutics to treat metastatic cancers. Cancer is the second
leading cause of death globally: 10 million deaths in 2020. Metastases
are responsible for more than 90% of cancer deaths in resistant
cancers. R-nuucell is developing innovative metallodrugs with
potential to treat metastases and to overcome several forms of cancer
The treatment of metastatic and resistant cancers is an unmet medical need that R-nuucell wants to address.
Medicinal Chemist with expertise in anti-cancer early-stage Drug Discovery
Andreia is a researcher with expertise in Medicinal Chemistry and
anti-cancer early-stage Drug Discovery. She has a degree in
Technological Chemistry and a Masters in Biomedical Inorganic
Chemistry from Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa,
Portugal. She received her PhD from Université des Sciences et
Technologies de Lille 1 (France) in ‘Molécules et Matières
Condensées’. As a Fulbright awardee she spent 5 months at Rutgers
University (USA) in 2014/15 where she developed new toxicity and
speciation studies for metallodrugs screening. She has been
coordinator of several (inter)national research projects and has
participated in innovation European Programs (Innostars and Women
The thematic mobility that held Andreia’s research path and the resulting competence synergy provided her experience in wide-ranging key areas for the successful development of new molecules/materials from the benchtop until the edge of having a product with prospective commercial value.
Organometallic chemist with expertise in the design & synthesis of new anticancer metallodrugs
As Professor at Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon,
Helena has built her recognized scientific career centered on the
design and synthesis of new organometallic compounds in view to
their technological applications. She was the coordinator of 20
national and international financed projects and co-authored over
150 publications in peer-reviewed international specialized
For the last fifteen years she has focused her experience and expertise on the development of new anticancer metallodrugs, being strongly motivated to contribute to the solution of cancer related deaths, the second cause of death worldwide. Particularly, she is interested on the cancers considered unmet medical needs. In this frame she already co-authored 4 inter- /national patents.
Having in view to leverage the research and development from “the test tube to the bed side” she has been very active on the participation in European Programs focused on promoting entrepreneurship and innovation on the domain of healthcare.
President of the Commission for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, FCUL
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Manager at Tec Labs - Centro de Inovação, FCUL
R-nuucell is a spin-off from
Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, founded by Helena and Andreia in February of 2021, during COVID-19
confinement, and since then our entrepreneurship adventure started!
But let’s start from the beginning!
It all began by our common passion for science, optimism, and determination!
After several years of research work mentoring students, attracting funds and creating a strong international network, by 2014 we unveiled the potential of a new metallodrug developed at our laboratories to treat the extremely aggressive triple negative breast cancer. Anticipating the success of our findings, we readily patented the “secret sauce”.
By participating at the ScienceIN2Business 2015 contest (Tec Labs, FCUL), we had our first pitching experience towards investors, and we were awarded with the 1st prize with the project RuPharma. Following this success, in 2017 a Group of Business Angels accepted the risk and the challenge of RuPharma project. AT THE RIGHT TIME!
By 2019 RuPharma project was one of the winners of the “Call INNOV-ID investments, early-stage companies” from Portugal Ventures. This prize was the kick-off to the creation of Something in Hands - Investigação Científica, Lda, rebranded as R-nuucell.
A long road of blood, sweat, and tears, but also, lots of joy!
- The co-founders, Helena and Andreia, affectionately known as the Dynamic Duo by their collaborators!