The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 24 million to Austrian F2G Biotech GmbH, a research-intensive company, focusing on the discovery and development of novel drugs to treat life threatening fungal diseases. EIB´s transaction is supported by ‘InnovFin – Infectious Diseases Finance Facility’ (IDFF) run under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. This allows EIB to fund high-risk projects in the area of infectious diseases, where the risk is linked to the successful development of a compound, drug or medical device, and to its future commercialisation. F2G will be spending most of its resources on R&D, in particular on the clinical trials of its lead compound “Olorofim”.
EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell, who is responsible for operations in Austria at the Bank, underlined: “Fungal infection typically affects the immune-compromised patient where mortality rates are often very high. Our investment in F2G contributes to fighting Antimicrobial Resistance (“AMR”), which is an area of significant concern for the scientific medical community. In particular, in the area of resistant fungi, there are very few drug candidates available, whereas resistance against the incumbent treatments is increasing year after year in multiple countries. To support a highly innovative company such as F2G demonstrates true European added value.”
Ian Nicholson, CEO of F2G Ltd commented: “We are very pleased by this support and strong endorsement from the EIB. InnovFin aims to support innovation and fast growing European companies. The funding will allow F2G to continue the development of a new, first- in-class anti-fungal drug for a patient population with very limited treatment options and a high medical need. Due to its novel mechanism of action, our lead candidate, Olorofim, is active against drug resistant Aspergillus species and other rare moulds offering potentially life-saving therapy options.”
Ralf Schmid, CFO and Managing Director of F2G Biotech GmbH, added: “F2G is a truly European company. Our clinical studies have a strong focus in Europe given the high prevalence of Aspergillosis and other rare moulds in several European countries. The EIB financing recognises the potential of orotomides, a completely new class of antifungal agents”.
Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “This loan demonstrates how we can use innovative financing mechanisms to address important public health needs. Antifungal resistance has been rising over the recent years and represents a major concern in clinical practice. This is why we support the discovery and development of new drugs to treat life-threatening fungal diseases through the EU research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020.”
European Investment Bank
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.
F2G is a world-leading UK and Austrian based Biotech company (F2G Ltd and F2G Biotech GmbH) focused on the discovery and development of novel therapies to treat life threatening invasive fungal infections. F2G has discovered and developed a completely new class of antifungal agents called the orotomides, active against Aspergillus and other rare and resistant moulds, that act via a completely different mechanism than currently marketed agents. A Phase IIb Open Label study is currently ongoing focussing on invasive aspergillosis, scedosporiosis and other rare and resistant mould infections. Olorofim is being developed both as IV and oral formulations and promises to have a safe and well-tolerated profile.
About EU´s InnovFin IDFF programme
Under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme for 2014-20, the ‘Infectious Diseases Finance Facility (IDFF)’ provides financial products ranging from standard debt to equity-type financing for amounts typically between EUR 7.5 million and EUR 75 million, to innovative players active in developing innovative vaccines, drugs, medical and diagnostic devices or novel research infrastructures for combatting infectious diseases. Project costs may include clinical trial costs, set-up of commercialization such as market access, development of prototypes or industrial roll out of novel equipment, pre-clinical R&D costs and working capital requirement. This facility is delivered directly by the EIB.