EUR 12 million loan under InnovFin to support Biosurfit’s RDI activities in medical diagnostics

EUR 12 million loan under InnovFin to support Biosurfit’s RDI activities in medical diagnostics

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  •  Release date: 27 November 2015
  •  Reference: 2015-279-EN

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a EUR 12 million loan to Biosurfit SA for its RDI activities in innovative diagnostics. EIB Vice-President Román Escolano and Biosurfit’s CEO, João Garcia da Fonseca, signed the financing contract in Lisbon today.

Biosurfit is a fast-growing and highly innovative early commercial stage medical diagnostics company focused on the development and manufacture of breakthrough technologies for the in vitro diagnostic (IVD) market. The Company’s lead platform technology, spinit®, addresses an unmet need for fast, precise and affordable blood analysis for point-of-care medical testing.

The financing will support the development of novel diagnostic tests to expand the Company’s existing spinit® technology platform and its ongoing commercialization in key markets. The main focus will be to establish a wide range of diagnostic tests in one simple to use instrument across a broad spectrum of applications, including diabetes, cardiology inflammation, haematology, renal and metabolic diseases. The loan will also fund investments to expand the Company´s manufacturing capacity in line with the wider product portfolio and expected market demand for tests.

The investments will be carried out in Portugal and will be implemented over the next three years. The loan will support Biosurfit in its transition to industrial-scale operations and in the expansion of the Company´s intellectual property portfolio. This funding will, therefore contribute to the creation of highly skilled jobs in Portugal and to the implementation of R&D activities that will help to improve patients’ health and quality of life.

Biosurfit’s investment programme is supported by “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators” MidCap Growth Finance, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments. InnovFin is a range of EIB Group products designed to facilitate access to finance for innovative businesses. InnovFin MidCap Growth Finance offers long-term senior, subordinated or mezzanine loans ranging from EUR 7.5 to 25 million for innovative larger midcaps (up to 3 000 employees) but also SMEs and small midcaps.

Román Escolano, EIB Vice-President, said: “The €12 million loan provided by the European Investment Bank to support Biosurfit’s activities in innovative diagnostics illustrates European Union’s commitment to innovation and to its citizens, who will benefit most from this important project. We are happy to contribute to Biosurfit’s RDI and commercialization activities, which aim to improve patients’ health and quality of life as well as creating highly skilled employment opportunities in Portugal.”

João Garcia da Fonseca, Chief Executive Officer of Biosurfit, commented: “We are delighted to have secured this financing from the European Investment Bank which provides us with access to long-term, committed capital on favourable terms. It is a clear endorsement from the EIB of the strength, quality and potential of Biosurfit’s innovative diagnostics technology.”

Background information:

InnovFin financial products

Under Horizon 2020, the EU research programme for 2014-20, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) launched a generation of financial instruments and advisory services in 2014 to help innovative firms access finance more easily. Until 2020, "InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" will offer a range of tailored products which will make available over EUR 24 billion of financing support for research and innovation (R&I) by small, medium-sized and large companies and the promoters of research infrastructure. This finance is expected to support up to EUR 48 billion of final R&I investments.

InnovFin is building on the success of the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility developed under the seventh EU framework programme for research and technological development (FP7), which financed 114 R&I projects to the tune of EUR 11.3 billion and in addition provided loan guarantees worth over EUR 1.4 billion.

Backed by funds set aside under Horizon 2020 and by the EIB Group, InnovFin financial products support R&I activities, which by their nature are riskier and harder to assess than traditional investments and therefore often face difficulties in accessing finance. All are demand-driven instruments, with no prior allocations between sectors, countries or regions. Firms and other entities located in EU Member States and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries will be eligible as final beneficiaries.

Biosurfit, SA is a Portuguese, commercial stage, point-of-care (PoC) diagnostics company with highly innovative proprietary technology. Biosurfit’s spinit® platform is the first, and only, diagnostic system capable of performing the major PoC blood test modalities (haematology, immunoassays and clinical chemistry) on the same instrument. Biosurfit’s first two tests, C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and Blood Count, were CE-marked and launched in the EU in 2014 and an extensive test menu is expected to be rolled-out in the EU and USA over the next 3 years. Biosurfit´s investors are the founders, Portugal Ventures, Caixa Capital, Beta Capital and PME Investimentos.

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