The European Investment Bank (EIB) has committed to part-financing Laboratoires Pierre Fabre’s pharmaceutical research programmes, particularly in the field of biotherapy.

This resulted in today’s signature by Mr Jacques Fabre, CEO of Laboratoires Pierre Fabre and Mr Philippe de Fontaine Vive Curtaz, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, of a finance contract totalling EUR 100 million.

This EIB loan will help finance R&D projects currently being carried out by Laboratoires Pierre Fabre to discover new natural, chemical and biological molecules. The main therapeutic areas covered by these future compounds are oncology, neuropsychiatry and dermatology, which are Laboratoires Pierre Fabre’s priority medical areas. The projects supported by the EIB will cover the discovery, preclinical development (pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, toxicology, etc.) and clinical fields (phases 1, 2 or 3).

All of the projects concerned by this loan are being managed from France in Laboratoires Pierre Fabre’s main research centres: Toulouse (in the cancer treatment section of the Oncology Unit), Saint-Julien-en-Genevois (Haute-Savoie) and Castres (Tarn).   

At the signing ceremony, Jacques Fabre, CEO of Laboratoires Pierre Fabre, declared: “This agreement with the EIB is a wonderful vote of confidence in our company’s innovative capabilities. We will devote over 20% of our medicines turnover to R&D, a ratio that is deliberately higher than the average in the pharmaceuticals sector. Over the past 50 years, we have striven to pre-empt future health requirements and provide original therapeutic solutions. To receive such support from the EIB above all encourages us to continue in this vein.”     

“This EIB loan is the European Union’s concrete commitment to supporting innovation and pharmaceutical research”, stated EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive. “In strengthening the R&D activities of a major player of the pharmaceutical industry here in Toulouse and in Castres and Saint-Julien-en-Genevois, we are also promoting the competitiveness of Europe’s regions. The development of new molecules in parallel with their therapeutic and clinical applications will enable real medical advances to be made, particularly in cancer treatment. This kind of investment helps us to shape together the future of Europe's pharmaceutical industry.”

This is also a pioneering loan as the R&D programme is being financed under the Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF), set up jointly by the European Commission and the EIB with the aim of facilitating access to borrowing in the fields of research, technological development, demonstration and innovation.

This loan marks a new phase for the Bank in its remit to support innovation in Europe. Recognising the strategic importance of this sector, the EIB decided to make R&D one of its priorities. In 2010 alone, EUR 15.5 billion was allocated to this sector in the EU, of which EUR 1.2 billion in France. The Bank’s goal is to develop an economy based on innovation, dissemination of knowledge and the development of leading-edge technologies.