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First loan under InnovFin Infectious Diseases provides
€10 million to improve HIV monitoring

Brussels, 13 July 2015

A breakthrough HIV testing device that could be a major help in the battle against HIV/AIDS will be further developed and brought closer to widespread use thanks to an EU loan of €10 million from the new InnovFin Infectious Diseases instrument.

The loan, provided to the Swedish company Cavidi AB by the European Investment Bank (EIB) today, is backed by the EU's research and innovation funding programme, Horizon 2020. The first deal under the InnovFin Infectious Diseases, an innovative, high risk thematic debt facility, comes less than a month after its launch.

Cavidi AB has developed a low-cost HIV viral load testing device that is proven to work in simplified, less sophisticated laboratories. The loan will now allow Cavidi to develop an automated, high-throughput version of the device, and launch it in January 2016.

Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, said: “This first loan under InnovFin Infectious Diseases will not only help speed up the development of an innovative device for monitoring HIV treatment for the benefit of patients, but also support the growth of an innovative family-owned European business. This is one of many examples of how Horizon 2020, the EU funding programme for research and innovation, addresses major societal challenges while stimulating European competitiveness and growth.”

The device, which was tested in the EU-funded project HIVIND, allows a regular detection of the viral load in HIV patients by non-specialist personnel, also in low-income countries. Correct detection of drug-resistance in HIV patients can help halt the HIV/AIDS pandemic, since maintaining a low viral load reduces the chances of transmission of the virus.

Cavidi is a family-owned Swedish biotech company developing and marketing diagnostic products used in the treatment of HIV. The company is Sweden's leading supplier of viral load tests for HIV monitoring. Cavidi's products enable efficient monitoring so that people living with HIV can receive optimised treatment and live a normal lifespan.

Background

Under Horizon 2020, the EU research programme for 2014-2020, the European Commission and the EIB Group (EIB and EIF) have launched a new generation of financial products and advisory services to help innovative firms access finance more easily. "InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators" offers a range of tailored products which will make more than €24bn of financing support for research and innovation (R&I) available to small, medium and large companies and the promoters of research infrastructures. This finance is expected to support up to €48bn of final R&I investments.

The aim of InnovFin Infectious Diseases, a new financial product which was launched at the beginning of June, is to fund high-risk projects in the area of infectious diseases, where the risk is linked to the successful development of a compound, drug or medical device, and to its future commercialization.

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