EIB loans Poland's biggest drugmaker €45m to develop biosimilars

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Polpharma loaned €45m to develop biosimilars under Horizon 2020
Polpharma loaned €45m to develop biosimilars under Horizon 2020

Related tags European union

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has loaned Polpharma €45m to fund development of biosimilars and improve access to medicines in Europe.

The loan – which is roughly equivalent to a quarter of what the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC)​ says it costs to develop a biosimilar – was granted under the InnovFin scheme of the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

Polpharma will use the money to enhance development and manufacturing capabilities at facilities in Poland in a work programme that will also create jobs and allow the drugmaker to strengthen ties with academics across Europe according to the EIB.

An EIB spokeswoman told Biopharma-reporter.com the bank aims to “support innovative companies across EU and in particular where such companies may not find a suitable financing in their domestic market​” adding that “this is to some extent the case in Poland​.”

Financing of innovation requires long term support and is often more risky, which is where the EIB can add value by providing favourable financing conditions​” she said, reiterating that this is particularly important in Poland where the R&D investment is below the EU average.

"The EIB, as the bank of the European Union, is not seeking to make profit from financing projects but to support the goals of the European Union and fostering innovation, research and development is one of them.​"

She also described Polpharma as a model company for the EIB loan programme, citing the Polish drugmaker's recent expansion and innovative approach to development as key.

Polpharma’s development in biosimilars will provide a more affordablealternatives to current treatments, thus provide patients in Poland with wider access to modern biological drugs, this is definitely what the EIB, as the EU bank, finds worth financing​.”

The Polish firm will have seven years to repay the loan.

Company spokeswoman Magdalena Rzeszotalska told us: "Polpharma draws the loan from EIB to co-finance its expenditures in the area of biosimilars.

"The money will be used for development works as well as optimization of production and expensive clinical trials. More than 50% of eligible cost is financed from Polpharma's pocket. The element of external financing enables us to achieve better return on investment into R&D​."

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