EU offers €30 million financing to the company Univercells for a new COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing facility and pipeline

The European Investment Bank (EIB) signed today a €30 million loan agreement with the innovative Belgian biotechnology company, Univercells, to enable the production of large volumes of prophylactic COVID-19 vaccines in a new manufacturing facility and to co-develop a pipeline of vaccines. This venture loan is backed by the InnovFin Infectious Diseases Finance Facility (IDFF) under Horizon 2020, the EU’s research and innovation programme for 2014-2020. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic we have made tremendous efforts to support Europe’s innovators, prioritising the research on and the development of safe and effective solutions to tackle the crisis and its aftermath. Our financial instruments and cooperation with the EIB have also helped develop and deploy many cutting-edge technologies addressing COVID-19. I am very pleased that today we are extending this support to the innovative Belgian biotech for their new COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing facility and development of a pipeline of vaccines. This is one step closer to restoring normal life and to ensuring we are better prepared for future pandemics.” The partnership announced today will contribute to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, while at the same time creating significant long-term value and impact and supporting future pandemic preparedness. The new venture debt to Univercells backed by IDFF adds to a previous €20 million IDFF operation signed in October 2019. This investment will support not only European pandemic readiness, but due to Univercells’ innovative business model of hub-and-spoke, it will also support vaccine availability and production autonomy in low and middle-income countries. More information is available in this EIB press release.