Polpharma receives €45m EU biosimilars funding

June 8, 2015 7:02 AM

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 45m (around PLN 185m) to the largest Polish manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, Polpharma, for its research into and development of biosimilar drugs – more affordable alternatives to current treatments.

This is the first EIB operation in Poland supported by the new generation of financial instruments for innovative and growth companies, “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators”, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020.

The aim of the project of Polpharma is to provide patients with wider access to modern biological drugs and also to address unmet medical needs in the area of severe and life-threatening diseases such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Europe’s long-term lending institution is strongly committed to supporting fast growing, innovative and expanding Polish companies like Polpharma and encourages innovative research in the healthcare sector. Both development and manufacturing of biosimilar drugs requires strong research and development efforts, such as optimising production in a sensitive cell culture and extensive clinical trials proving therapeutic equivalence to the original biological drugs. For projects of this nature and risk profile, it is the diversification of funding sources, long maturities and favourable terms offered by the EIB that companies like Polpharma find attractive.

Pharmaceutical research into and the clinical development of new therapeutics are one of the most costly and risky areas of knowledge creation. The “InnovFin Large Project” facility is specifically dedicated to improving access to risk finance for research and innovation projects originating from larger firms in the European Union. Through its research, development and innovation activities, Polpharma will contribute to increasing patient access to essential drugs in Europe in areas that are crucial for the improvement of its citizens’ health. The project will be implemented in the company’s facilities in Poland, safeguarding and creating employment opportunities for the skilled workforce in the country. Given Polpharma’s collaboration with universities, the knowledge acquired through the research activities will also be widely disseminated across Europe.

László Baranyay, EIB Vice-President responsible for lending in Poland, said, “We are pleased to be partnering with Polpharma in this breakthrough operation as it will enable the EIB, the bank of the European Union, to support innovative research and development of more affordable healthcare treatments in Poland. Polpharma is a role model for our support for fast growing, innovative and expanding companies in Poland. Projects such as this strengthen the competitiveness and boost the innovative capacity of European health-related industries and businesses.”

Jan Faryaszewski, Vice-President of Polpharma Pharmaceutical Works, added: “Development in biotechnology requires huge investment and the building of long-term partnerships. Polpharma’s business goals are in line with the EIB’s strategy of supporting innovative projects over the long term. As a Polish innovation leader we are happy to collaborate with such an important and solid partner. We believe that our partnership will contribute to faster development of biological drugs that are important for patients.”

Over last five years, the EIB has provided around EUR 10bn for healthcare investment. It is committed to promoting projects in this area both by supporting the modernisation and development of hospitals and medical centres and by boosting research, development and innovation in the areas of medical technology, biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industry.

 

Source: European Investment Bank

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