>@Caroline Martin/EIB
©Caroline Martin/EIB
  • Inbiose signs €15 million loan with European Investment Bank to scale up its research and development and accelerate market launch of its products.
  • EIB financing will strengthen home-grown European technology by providing Inbiose with long-term, non-dilutive financing in support of its business plans.
  • The financing for Inbiose is being made available under the European Guarantee Fund (EGF), part of the €540 billion EU rescue package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €15 million financing agreement with Inbiose, a Belgian biotech SME focused on novel production processes for the synthesis of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), functional sugars for a wide range of applications, primarily used in infant nutrition.

Human milk protects babies from infection and inflammation, promotes the development of immunity, promotes healthy bacteria in the gut and positively affects brain development. It is estimated that more than 100 different HMO structures are present in human milk. As one of the few companies capable of producing HMOs on a commercial scale, Inbiose plans heavy investments in R&D and production capacity, which are supported by this EIB financing.

The financing is made possible under a newly available venture debt instrument, extended by the European Guarantee Fund (EGF). The EGF is a pan-European programme that supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with long-term viability that are developing their way out of ongoing financial uncertainties due to COVID-19.

“We are very pleased with the financial support from the EIB as it will help Inbiose to grow even faster and to bring our innovative Human Milk Oligosaccharides to the market,” said Prof. Wim Soetaert, Co-founder and CEO of Inbiose.I specifically appreciate that the EIB has placed its confidence in our young company and our team that is fully dedicated to promoting human health.”

“Inbiose is yet another example of a very innovative Belgian company that is a worldwide player, something we are happy to support,” said EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters. “Supporting home-grown research and development is a key priority for Europe, and the Bank is glad that we can finance Inbiose, also thanks to the backing of the European Guarantee Fund, to which Belgium is an important contributor.”

Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) work closely with the other EU institutions to implement EU policy. In 2020 alone, the Bank made available nearly €1.3 billion in loans for Belgian projects in various sectors, including healthcare, water management, education and SMEs.

The European Guarantee Fund (EGF) was set up by the EIB Group with contributions from Belgium and other EU Member States to shield companies suffering from the COVID-19 crisis. Using nearly €25 billion in guarantees, the EGF enables the EIB and the EIF to quickly make loans, guarantees, asset-backed securities, equity and other financial instruments available to mostly small and medium-sized enterprises. The EGF is part of the European Union’s recovery package aiming to provide a total of €540 billion boost those parts of the EU economy that have been hit the worst.

Inbiose is a Belgian biotech SME focused on novel production processes for the synthesis of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), functional sugars for a wide range of applications (including nutritional and pharmaceutical products), primarily used in infant nutrition. The company was founded in 2013 as a Ghent University spin-off and has grown into a 50-person organisation located on one of the world’s largest biotech campuses in Ghent, Belgium. The company runs its research and development and operating activities from Zwijnaarde’s technology park.