The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to lend 30 million euros ($33.4 million) to Mabion, a Polish biotech company, to finance its growth plans.
Mabion will use the financing for a wide-ranging research and development program, conducting clinical trials, as well as expending its manufacturing capacities with state-of-the-art equipment. Mabion, whose shares gained 1.9% to 79.90 zloty by early afternoon trading, expects to employ 96 additional staff as a result of this financial injection.
EIB director general, head of lending operations, Jean-Christophe Laloux, said: “This loan represents a milestone in the EIB support for Poland: it makes innovative financing available for an innovative company that invests heavily in R&D and develops much needed treatment for oncologic diseases. By joining forces with the European Commission, the EU bank can support the long-term plans of Mabion and thus contribute to the growth of the biotech sector in Poland.”
Grzwgorz Grabowicz, a member of the board and financial director at Mabion, added: “Mabion is very proud that such an entity as the European Investment Bank responded to our invitation to cooperation and decided to join us in our ambitious project. After obtaining the consent of EMA to introduce our medicine for sale in the European Union, we will need funds for infrastructure development and to cover the costs of further research. EIB loan addresses a large proportion of our investment and development needs.”
More information about the transaction
The 30 million-euro loan will cover around 30% of the estimated costs (97 million euros) of the company’s growth plans. It will cover R&D costs related to both early and late-stage development programs including “biosimilars” and innovative drugs, as well as capital expenditures for the scale-up of manufacturing. This includes furnishing existing premises with manufacturing equipment and furnishing an extension of the plant with manufacturing equipment, R&D and quality control laboratories. The transaction will be divided into three milestone-based disbursement tranches.
Thanks to EFSI support, the EIB can take more risk and provide stable long-term financing with a flexible repayment and interest structure, which limits cash outflow from Mabion in the short to medium term and thereby enables the company to focus on investing in innovation and growth.
After completion of clinical trials for its most advanced program – a biosimilar of rituximab for the treatment of certain types of blood cancer – Mabion is expecting to obtain an opinion of the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) by the end of 2019. Assuming that is positive, Mabion could become the first EU-based company to introduce a biosimilar of Swiss pharma giant Roche’s (ROG: SIX) MabThera (rituximab) into the EU market.