The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €20 million venture debt financing agreement with The Akkermansia Company, a Belgian company specialising in microbiome health, backed by the European Commission’s InvestEU initiative.
Started as a spin-off from two universities (UCLouvain in Belgium and Wageningen University in the Netherlands), the company develops Akkermansia muciniphila, an intestinal symbiont with unique properties, whose research is focused on demonstrating the key role that Akkermansia muciniphila can play in reinforcing gut barrier functions, which are essential to support metabolism. The Akkermansia Company will use the financing to boost its research, development and innovation, and the commercialisation of new products containing pasteurised Akkermansia muciniphila.
“Belgium really has a flourishing life sciences and biotech scene, and I’m proud that the EIB has been able to finance many important and break-through innovations in recent years.”
“We are happy to support The Akkermansia Company in its research and development, considering that the human microbiome is still poorly understood and under-researched, even though it is so important for maintaining good general health and preventing or treating diseases impacting the daily lives of so many people.”
said EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters.
“The Akkermansia Company is currently continuing its geographic expansion and expects strong growth in its commercial activity while continuing its research and development programme,”
said CEO of The Akkermansia Company Michael Oredsson.
“We will use the EIB venture debt financing to accelerate our commercial and R&D efforts, amongst others by conducting additional clinical trials aimed at demonstrating the health benefits of pasteurised Akkermansia muciniphila in several areas.”
The operation provides direct, equity-type financing under the EIB’s venture debt instrument and by doing so contributes to the European Union’s InvestEU objective on research, development and innovation.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals (amounting to €2.3 billion for projects in Belgium in 2022). The EIB is very active in the life sciences sector, supporting the biotech ecosystem in Belgium (to which it has provided €200 million in venture debt financing over the last five years). More information on www.eib.org and its dedicated venture debt page.
The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable recovery. It also helps mobilise private investments for the European Union’s policy priorities, such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. The InvestEU programme brings together under one roof the multitude of EU financial instruments currently available to support investment in the European Union, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme consists of three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is implemented through financial partners that will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budget guarantee will back the investment projects of the implementing partners, increase their risk-bearing capacity and thus mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investment. More information on InvestEU is available here.
The Akkermansia Company S.A. was founded in 2016 as a spin-off of the UCLouvain and Wageningen University. It is a Belgian microbiome company built on the unique properties of the commensal bacterial species Akkermansia muciniphila whose research is focused on demonstrating the key role the bacteria can play in reinforcing gut barrier functions. The company has launched a first product ‘Weight Management with Glucose Control’ in the EU in 2022 and more recently a second product ‘Gut Support with Stress Management’ and will continue to add products to its range and to focus on R&D.
Source: EIB (https://www.eib.org/en/press/all/2023-509-investeu-in-belgium-eur20-million-eib-venture-debt-financing-to-support-microbiome-research-and-development-by-the-akkermansia-company)