Polish firm gets EIB loan for biosimilars development

Biosimilars/General | Posted 03/07/2015 post-comment0 Post your comment

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending Euros 45 million (around Zloty 185 million) to the largest Polish manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, Polpharma, for its research into, and development of, biosimilars.

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This latest funding from the EIB is the biggest boost the company has yet received. Although, since the accession of Poland to the European Union (EU) in 2004, Polpharma has been applying for financial support to implement innovative projects under different funding programmes, both national and European. Until the end of 2009, Polpharma was awarded co-funding of a total of Zloty 10 million to conduct 11 projects.

The EIB loan comes as part of the ‘InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators’, which is a joint initiative launched by the European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF), with the financial backing of the EU under Horizon 2020.

Developing biosimilars is not cheap, highlighting the need for the funding sources, long maturities and favourable terms offered by the EIB. Both development and manufacturing of biosimilar drugs requires strong research and development efforts such as optimizing production in a sensitive cell culture and extensive clinical trials proving therapeutic equivalence to the originator biologicals.

Polpharma intends to use the funds to carry out research and development into biosimilars in the area of severe and life-threatening diseases, such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, in order to provide patients with wider access to modern biological drugs and also to address unmet medical needs.

Poland is a supporter of biosimilars, with one of the highest use of biosimilars in the EU. An IMS Health report found that biosimilar penetration for human growth hormone in Poland amounted to 99% of the available market [1].

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1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. Biosimilars use in Europe varies widely [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2015 Jul 3]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/Reports/Biosimilars-use-in-Europe-varies-widely

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Source: EIB

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