The European Investment Bank has provided a US $11 million loan to Cavidi, a Swedish biotech company, to help develop a next-generation testing device for HIV viral load.
The loan, which Cavidi applied for, is the first transaction through the InnovFin Infectious Diseases financial tool to fund high-risk projects. The tool was launched last month.
The InnovFin program, a cooperative effort between the EIB and the European Commission, has made more than US $26.3 billion available to support research and innovation by companies of all sizes across a range of industries. It is part of a broader seven-year effort, dubbed Horizon 2020, intended to boost research and development in the EU.
“With this first InnovFin Infectious Diseases loan, we confirm our commitment to providing easier access to finance, especially for higher-risk projects, in the medical sector,” says Jonathan Taylor, EIB vice president with responsibility for lending in Sweden. “This is crucial to bridging the gap from pure research and development to commercially viable enterprises in Europe.”
Cavidi intends to launch its testing technology next year for less sophisticated laboratories, including those in low- to middle-income countries hit hardest by HIV. The device was tested in the EU-funded project HIVIND, which conducted a randomized trial of two approaches to influencing antiretroviral treatment adherence in 600 HIV-infected patients in India.
Currently, the company has products in roughly 40 countries, with customers primarily in Africa and Southeast Asia.
— Elizabeth Hollis