miDiagnostics has been granted a €20 million loan from European Investment Bank to scale up its research and development activities and accelerate the market launchof its diagnostics solution.
With EU backing, the EIB financing will strengthen home-grown European technology that can play an important role in helping to bring the pandemic under control.
The transaction is supported by European Commission through InnovFin – EU finance for innovators programme, under the Infectious Diseases Finance Facility window.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €20 million loan agreement with Belgian diagnostics company miDiagnostics, to support its research and development activities targeting infectious diseases, and in particular the scale-up of its new rapid COVID-19 PCR test. The EIB financing is supported by the Infectious Diseases Finance Facility window under the EU’s InnovFin – EU finance for innovators programme, backed by the European Union’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, which guarantees EIB loans for highly innovative projects.
In the context of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, miDiagnostics adapted its R&D and product development plans towards the development of a rapid PCR test for SARS-CoV-2, aimed at providing PCR accuracy whilst being just as fast as rapid antigen tests. Tests in the field, specifically at Brussels Airport, started last month.
Urbain Vandeurzen, Chairman of the Board at miDiagnostics, said: “We are extremely pleased with the €20 million support from the EIB. This will help the company roll out its first ultrafast COVID-19 product, with a launch planned for spring next year. This loan will be employed to scale-up the process and to ensure that miDiagnostics can have a significant impact on the management and surveillance of this pandemic and potential future pandemics.”
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The European Commission has been at the forefront of supporting research and innovation and coordinating European and global research efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic. To fight the disease we need vaccines, treatments and diagnostic tools. Today, we are extending our support to miDiagnostics in their efforts towards the development of a rapid PCR test for Sars-CoV-2.”
“I think everybody wants to put the COVID-19 times behind us as quickly as we can,” said EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters. “But to do that, we need a number of measures and tools that allow authorities to quickly and accurately identify infections to limit the overall infection rates. The system developed by miDiagnostics can be an important part of that puzzle and, just like the vaccine research and development that we have financially supported, the EIB is proud to get behind the company.”
In 2020 alone, the EIB made available nearly €1.3 billion in loans for Belgian projects in various sectors, including healthcare, water management, education and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation framework programme for 2014-2020, the Infectious Diseases Finance Facility (IDFF) provides financial products ranging from standard debt to equity-type financing for amounts typically between €7.5 million and €75 million to innovative players active in developing innovative vaccines, drugs, medical and diagnostic devices or novel research infrastructure for combating infectious diseases. Project costs may include clinical trial costs, set-up of commercialisation such as market access, development of prototypes or industrial roll-out of novel equipment, pre-clinical R&D costs and working capital requirements. This facility is delivered directly by the EIB, which has so far provided €479.5 million under the InnovFin IDFF.
miDiagnostics SA/NV is an innovative medical devices company active in the development of a new generation diagnostic platform for point-of-care testing based on disruptive nano-fluidic semi-conductor technology. The technology platform has the potential to radically miniaturise and simplify the diagnostics process, leading to a significant cost reduction and hence enabling true point-of-care diagnostics. The company was incorporated as a spin-off of IMEC (the leading semi-conductor research institute worldwide) and John Hopkins University. In the context of the current coronavirus crisis, the company succeeded in adapting its R&D and product development plans towards the development of a rapid PCR test for SARS-CoV-2, providing PCR accuracy whilst being as fast as rapid antigen tests.
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