- Global Pharma News & Resources

InvestEU: EIB Agrees to a €18 Million Loan to Estonian Biotech Icosagen for Innovative R&D Technologies and New cGMP Production Facility

InvestEU: EIB Agrees to a €18 Million Loan to Estonian Biotech Icosagen for Innovative R&D Technologies and New cGMP Production Facility

  • The EIB and Icosagen AS have signed a €18 million agreement to support the financing of Icosagen’s production facility and further strengthen its innovative R&D technology platforms.
  • The EIB financing is backed by the European Commission’s InvestEU programme.
  • The total investment in the project exceeds €40 million and is expected to kick-start the biological drug industry in Estonia.

TARTU, Estonia, February 08, 2023 / B3C newswire / -- The Estonian biopharmaceutical innovator Icosagen AS has reached a €18 million financing agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) — backed by the InvestEU programme — to further strengthen its drug discovery, development and production services. The funds are part of Icosagen’s €40 million investment into increasing its innovative contract research and development capabilities as well as into a new current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) facility to produce innovative drugs for clinical trials.

The agreement seeks to provide a major boost to the biological drug development industry in Estonia.

The construction of the new 1 600 m2 production plant expands on Icosagen’s existing laboratories in Tartu, Estonia, and will be completed in September 2023. The plant is expected to become operational in 2024. This new facility will help Icosagen become a one-stop shop for its biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients, and a full contract research, development and manufacturing organisation (CRDMO), offering seamless discovery, development and manufacturing capabilities of mammalian protein drug candidates.

“We have steadily been working towards this important milestone for a long time,” said CEO and founder of Icosagen Professor Mart Ustav, Ph.D. “Developing novel technologies and workflows will help increase our competitiveness in providing contract research and development service to our clients in Europe and other regions of the world. The cGMP facility will provide further state-of-the-art training and employment opportunities for local and regional scientists and, at the same time, expand the capabilities and impact of the European biopharmaceutical drug production industry. We are very grateful to the EIB for their crucial support in this endeavour.” 

EIB Vice-President Thomas Östros stated: “The biopharmaceutical industry is expected to grow significantly in the future, based on superior efficacy and safety of biologics compared to small molecules, as well as increasing adoption for the treatment of chronic diseases. We at the EIB are proud to support this industry’s growth. By providing financing to Icosagen, an innovative and fast-growing company, we will enable it to provide its clients with a more complete range of services and products in the field of biologics in Europe and beyond.”

European Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni added: “InvestEU is playing an important role across Europe in helping businesses access the finance they need to innovate, expand and create jobs. This agreement is an excellent example of InvestEU channelling finance to support research and production that will allow Europe to maintain its leadership position in the development of innovative drugs. It will also serve as an important catalyst for the development of the pharmaceutical industry in Estonia.”

Senior Director Business Development of Icosagen Cell Factory Dr Oliver Schub added: “In 2022, Icosagen Cell Factory worked with over 100 protein drug/vaccine developing companies, in well above 500 projects, producing more than 3 000 different recombinant proteins. Our partner clients can now seamlessly proceed from antibody discovery, over transient preclinical protein production, into stable CHO cell line development, and right into clinical GMP manufacturing, all from one team on a single site. Our unique CRDMO concept results in minimised development timelines, costs and project management efforts.”

Editor Details

Last Updated: 08-Feb-2023