A huge European action for the next three following years is the European Fund for Strategic Investments (aka the Juncker plan). This consists of a €315 billion Investment Plan to “get Europe growing and more people back to work” (as written on Europa’s website).

2000px-Grifols.svgThe Barcelonan Grifols (Spain) is one of the first companies to receive its slice from the European Investment Bank. Grifols is a leader in plasma protein manufacturing and a pioneer in the research and development of alternative therapeutic application of these products.

The loan will mostly support their R&D program for alternative use of hematological biologicals. Signed on the 28th of October, the €100M loan has certain conditions, including a fixed interest rate, a tenor of ten years and a two year grace period.

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Girfol’s plasmapheresis manufacturing process (Source: Grifols)

Plasma proteins can be used for the same target across a wide range of different diseases. For example, one indication in the Central nervous system includes Alzheimer’s disease, which has a really poor therapeutic arsenal. This is a particular focus in the biotech world with the launch of the Dementia Discovery Fund by the WHO and UK Government (amognst other EU Biotechs).

Grifols believes a good way to stabilize the progression of this Neurodegenerative disease is to employ plasmapheresis with the blood protein albumin. This could mobilize the Aβ-amyloid protein (responsible for neuro-degenerative plaque in the disease) from the cerebrospinal fluid into the blood. That’s definitely a solution to explore further…and one benefit of using albumin plasmapheresis is that it does not present as many side effects as other proteins.

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Beside this, the company also plans to develop a therapy to target an alternative disease area using proteins for vascular pathologies (such as in cardiovascular surgery and arterial thrombosis).

Receiving €100M under ‘friendly’ financial conditions is therefore definitely good news for Grifols. From an EU point of the view, this is a big loan…but not the biggest so far: €313M  has already been allocated for the development of offshore wind farm by Galloper Wind Farm Ltd.

Let’s see where else the Juncker Plan will take other European biotechs!

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