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EU provides financing for more Covid-19 vaccine candidates

German company BioNTech to get €100m loan for candidate development

The European Investment Bank has announced it will provide loans of up to €100 million to support the development of Covid-19 vaccine candidates by the German company BioNTech.

The company was the first in Europe to start clinical trials of a vaccine candidate, when it began initial clinical trials in April of four candidates it is developing under a programme called BNT162.

EU R&D commissioner Mariya Gabriel praised the bloc’s support for the company, which she said is part of the “worldwide race” to develop an effective vaccine for Covid-19.

“I am very pleased that today, together with the European Investment Bank, we are extending our support to BioNTech, which is yet another concrete step towards our goal of getting a vaccine and ensuring access to it for all,” she said after the 11 June announcement.

The EIB financing is supported by the Horizon 2020 R&D programme and the European Fund for Strategic Investments. It will help BioNTech increase its manufacturing capacity, with the loans coming in two tranches of €50m each “following completion of pre-defined milestones”, according to the EIB.

“The only way to end the dramatic situation the world has been facing since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic is to come up with a safe and effective vaccine,” said Ambroise Fayolle, EIB vice-president for innovation.