Swedish biotech company Cavidi has received a €10m long-term loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to develop a next generation automated testing device for HIV viral load.
The loan represents the first transaction under InnovFin Infectious Diseases, a high risk-taking financial instrument recently established within the new generation of financial products for innovative and growth companies.
Cavidi’s novel technology for HIV monitoring has proven its efficiency in working in simple and less sophisticated laboratories, such as a non-clean room environment, a common fixture in low and middle-income countries that are often hit worst by the HIV pandemic.
EIB Sweden lending vice-president Jonathan Taylor said: "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.
"Projects like this strengthen the competitiveness and boost the innovative capacity of European health-related industries and businesses, so enhancing Europe’s position as a major technology supplier and supporting skilled employment opportunities."
Cavidi CEO John Reisky de Dubnic said: "We have a proven and effective technology that can benefit millions of people in high-burden countries.
"This support from the EIB will help us realise our technology faster and increase access to viral load monitoring for those living with HIV who need it most."
The correct measurement of the actual viral load in HIV patients contributes to the efforts to reduce the growing AIDS epidemic, maintaining a low viral load reduces the chances of virus transmission.
Cavidi expects to launch the next generation HIV viral load monitor in 2016, and quickly gain a significant share of the market for HIV diagnostics in near point of care centres such as district hospital laboratories in low and middle-income countries.
InnovFin Infectious Diseases aims to persuade EIB to fund high-risk projects in the area of infectious diseases, where the risk is linked to the successful development of innovative vaccines, drugs or medical devices, and to their future commercialisation.
The project is supported by ‘InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators’, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020.
Image: Cavidi’s novel HIV viral load monitor has proven its efficiency in working in simple and less sophisticated laboratories. Photo: Return Copyright copyright European Investment Bank 2015.