The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide financing of EUR 25 million to the Austrian biotech company APEIRON Biologics AG (Apeiron). The financing will support the development of new pharmaceutical products to treat cancer, particularly a rare type affecting children. The transaction with Apeiron was made possible by the support of the "European Fund for Strategic Investments" (EFSI). EFSI is the central pillar of the "Investment Plan for Europe", in which the EIB Group and the European Commission as strategic partners aim to boost the competitiveness of the European economy.
Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the EIB and responsible for Austria, commented: "The EU bank’s investments, especially in SME’s at the cutting edge of R&D, are key to help strengthen Europe’s competitiveness and foster sustainable growth. Our transaction with Apeiron demonstrates such support. Apeiron is an innovative biotech company targeting areas of significant unmet medical need. Our loan, in particular through its long tenor and its favorable financing conditions, is a high added-value transaction, as it enables Apeiron to significantly increase its R&D activities. This will create 5-10 highly qualified jobs and will increase Apeiron’s workforce by up to 25 percent."
Hans Loibner, Chief Executive Officer of Apeiron, commented: "We are very pleased about the fact that the EIB has recognised Apeiron’s potential for further groundbreaking R&D. Our recent achievement of obtaining the EU marketing authorisation for our most advanced project in combination with access to additional funding through the EIB forms a very promising basis for our company’s future."
European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, said: "I am delighted that the Investment Plan is contributing to ground-breaking research and development projects undertaken by Apeiron to develop new drug treatments. Today's agreement is a perfect demonstration of the real, tangible benefits that the Commission's commitment to promoting investment, research and innovation are producing."
About the EIB
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.
Apeiron is a private biotech company based in Vienna, Austria, engaged in innovative projects in immuno-oncology. Recently the most advanced project (immunotherapy of neuroblastoma) was granted marketing approval in the EU. The company is developing additional cancer immunotherapy projects based either on targeted, tumor-specific approaches or on the stimulation of the immune system via novel and proprietary modes of action (unique checkpoint blockade mechanisms) to fight cancer by engaging the human body’s natural defense mechanisms.
The Investment Plan for Europe
The Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker Plan, is one of EU´s top priorities to boost investments and to create jobs and growth by making smarter use of existing and new financial resources. The EIB Group is playing a vital role in this investment drive. Through guarantees from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the EIB and the EIF are able to take on a higher share of project risk, encouraging private finance providers to participate in the projects. In addition, EFSI is accompanied by a new advisory service, the European Investment Advisory Hub, which enables public and private project operators to structure their investment projects more professionally. The investment offensive also aims to make the regulatory environment in the EU more conducive to investment, especially in the digital, energy and capital market sectors. In September 2016, President Juncker proposed to extend the EFSI by increasing its firepower and duration as well as reinforcing its strengths.
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