The Polish medical technology company develops innovative and real-time tests
that can be used also for COVID-19
This is the first operation in Poland under the Infectious Diseases Financing Facility
of Horizon 2020, the EU Research and Innovation programme for 2014-2020
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has agreed to lend up to EUR 10 million to Scope Fluidics, a Polish medical technology company developing innovative products in the field of medical diagnostics. Scope Fluidics uses microfluidic technologies (involving the manipulation of small quantities of test samples within a disposable diagnostic cartridge) and focuses on rapid characterization of antibiotic resistance of bacteria and on ultra-fast detection of bacterial and viral pathogens (including COVID-19).
The EIB financing will support the company’s efforts to develop new, efficient and affordable methods for detection of pathogens causing infectious diseases, including COVID-19. Apart from striving to aid the fight with COVID-19 pandemic, Scope Fluidics’ team is also focused on the Antimicrobial Resistance (“AMR”), which is one of the gravest threats to global health. Testing a broader range of infectious diseases may significantly increase the standard of care and the effectiveness of prevention of complications in the evolving pandemic.
By sustaining the company’s further clinical trials that will allow the commercial launch of the system, the EIB helps address a market gap in available financing options for innovative players active in developing new vaccines and drugs, innovative medical and diagnostic devices or novel research infrastructure for combatting infectious diseases (ID). The project has also the potential to foster growth
in this sector and create new jobs in Poland and in the EU for highly skilled people and in the field of research and development.
The financing comes from a joint European Commission and EIB initiative – the Infectious Diseases Finance Facility (IDFF) – backed by the Horizon 2020, the EU Research and Innovation programme
2014-2020. It will be the first project in Poland under the IDFF. To date, 14 operations have been signed in Europe under IDFF for a total amount of EUR 372m.
The agreement was signed today in Warsaw by prof. Teresa Czerwińska, EIB Vice-President, who oversees operations in Poland, and prof. Piotr Garstecki, co-founder and chairman of the Board at Scope Fluidics.
“I am delighted to sign today the first EIB loan to a Polish company under the Infectious Diseases Financing Facility, which is part of the European InnovFin programme”, said prof. Teresa Czerwińska. “By investing in this project, the Bank will provide a relevant contribution to the scientific advancement in the field of diagnostic equipment for infectious diseases, including COVID-19. This has the potential to unlock new paradigms for disease diagnostics and antimicrobial resistance.” Teresa Czerwińska added: “This operation timely follows the agreement last week with the Ministry of Finance for a EUR 650 million EIB loan to help the government fight against COVID-19. As the EU bank, we think it is important to support Poland’s efforts against the pandemic at all levels”.
“The Scope Fluidics team has created a modern PCR|ONE system that detects dangerous bacteria and viruses in a breakthrough time of 15 minutes. Our recent efforts focused on the rapid detection of the Covid-19 virus have given the PCR|ONE project an additional importance and business dimension - in line with the global effort to combat the pandemic. Today's agreement with the EIB is a great joy for us - our goal is to change modern medical diagnostics into faster, more informative and accessible, in order to gain a real impact on improving the quality and effectiveness of modern medicine. On behalf of the entire Scope Fluidics team, I would like to thank EIB for the trust of such an experienced institution” - says prof. Piotr Garstecki, CEO of Scope Fluidics. “EIB will be an important partner for us, with extensive experience in financing European lifescience ventures, including companies from the molecular diagnostics industry. The agreement concluded today aims to support the commercialization of the systems we develop, including increasing the intensity of activities in the PCR|ONE project’s Early Access Program. We have joined the group of companies such as Stat-Dx, Curetis and Mobidiag, which have also obtained similar funding from EIB in recent years” - adds Prof. Piotr Garstecki.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Diagnostic tests are essential to enable front-line health workers to make the diagnosis quickly and accurately, as well as to reduce the risk of further spread of viruses, including the coronavirus. This is a very important element of the Coronavirus Global Response strategy. With this loan to Scope Fluidics the EU is making one step closer to finding solutions to fight the coronavirus pandemic. I am also very pleased that, through the Infectious Diseases Finance Facility, we are supporting for the first time a company based in Poland to carry out this very promising project.”
The InnovFin Infectious Diseases Finance Facility (IDFF) is a financial product dedicated to support the fight against infectious diseases. The joint European Commission and EIB Group initiative falls under Horizon2020, the 2014-2020 EU research and innovation programme. IDFF enables the EIB to provide between €7.5 million and €75 million of funding to innovative players active in developing vaccines, drugs, medical and diagnostic devices and research infrastructure for combatting infectious diseases. The loans finance clinical trials, market access, the development of prototypes or industrial roll out of novel equipment, pre-clinical R&D and working capital needs. The IDFF has been reinforced by €400 million to better tackle the outbreak of COVID-19.
Scope Fluidics SAis a hub that grows med-tech start-ups, each developing a radical solution to a challenge in global health. The company responds to the global challenges in human health, by designing disruptive diagnostic systems, with the potential to positively impact access to effective healthcare across the world. PCR|ONE system targets healthcare-associated infections and infection control, by offering unprecedented access to molecular Dx information at the point of care. BacterOMIC promises access to precision antibiotic therapies at the price of conventional antibiotic susceptibility testing.
PCR|ONE system is a complete, stand-alone solution for immediate detection of a wide range of pathogens and genetic targets in the point of care format. The system accepts disposable cartridges that are loaded with clinical samples and automatically processed for detailed diagnosis within 15 minutes. The PCR|ONE system offers a unique combination of record speed and breadth of up to 20 genetic targets that can
be identified in a single run, from a single sample.
BacterOMIC is the first system to offer full and actionable information for precision antibiotics therapies. BacterOMIC problems all clinically relevant antibiotics in single test. BacterOMIC is also the first system
to offer automated testing of multiple antibiotic combinations.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in Europe had immediate and wide-ranging consequences for investment: according to the new edition of the EIB Investment Report 2020/2021 “Building a smart and green Europe in the COVID-19 era”, EU firms are likely to reduce investment by at least 25% in the year following the crisis. The report also shows that in a post-pandemic “new normal”, investment in digitalisation, innovation and climate will be more important than ever before. Without such investment, large sections of Europe’s economy risk falling behind. However, the European Union now has the opportunity to build on its leadership in green and digital technologies to recover from the pandemic, manage the climate transition and maintain its ability to compete in the global technology race.
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