to boost late-stage development of novel therapy to treat life-threatening, virus-induced
by the “InnovFin
EU-finance for innovators”
The European Investment Bank and ISA Pharmaceuticals have signed a EUR 20 million loan agreement to support the development of ISA’s therapy for cancers caused by the Human Papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16).
HPV16 infection can cause cervical, head & neck and anogenital cancers.
These cancers can be severe and life-threatening, with low overall survival
rates of advanced stages. Cervical cancer is the 2nd most common
cancer in women aged 15 to 44 years in Europe, with HPV16 causing over 35,000
new cases and 15,000 deaths each year. The virus is also a major cause of oropharyngeal
cancer with over 25,000 new cases and 12,000 deaths each year in Europe alone1.
ISA Pharmaceuticals has developed a novel therapy,
ISA101b, which targets HPV16-positive cancers through the specific activation
of the patient’s own immune system. The treatment has proven to be safe with no
serious side effects, and has demonstrated substantial benefit for patients, when used in
addition to current treatment in advanced stages of the head & neck cancer
and cervical cancer. ISA101b represents a unique and innovative treatment
modality. It is designed to fight HPV16 driven premalignant conditions and
early stage cancers as monotherapy, and metastatic malignancies when given
together with standard of care.
“ISA’s lead product is at a very
exciting final stage of development. This loan from the EIB will help
accelerate the programme all the way to our ultimate goal of making ISA101b
available to all patients suffering from HPV16-induced cancers,”said Gerben Moolhuizen, CEO of ISA Pharmaceuticals.
very pleased that we can actively contribute to combating cancer and its causes
as a financial institution, thanks to the support of the European Commission’s
InnovFin programme. After financing projects for research into the Zika virus
and Ebola vaccines, this human papillomavirus project is one that we gladly
participate in. The EIB has significantly increased its support for projects
related to innovation in the health sector recently, and we see the ISA project
as a very promising one with significant potential benefits for many patients.”
said Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of EIB.
the support of IDFF, the EIB can provide stable long-term funding with a
flexible repayment and interest structure, limiting the cash outflow from the company
and thereby enabling it to focus on investing in innovation and growth.
Commissioner forResearch, Science
and Innovation, said: “With more people living longer, cancer rates are
increasing everywhere. Europe has 9% of the world’s population but a
23% share of the global cancer burden. This is why we support the development of new
drugs to treat life-threatening diseases such as cancer through the EU research and innovation programme, Horizon
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term
lending institution of the European Union, owned by its Member States. It makes
long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards
EU policy goals. In 2018 alone, the Bank made available around EUR 2 Bln in loans for Dutch projects in various sectors, including research &
development, transport, healthcare and SMEs.
1 Bruni L, Albero G, Serrano B, Mena M, Gómez D,
Muñoz J, Bosch FX, de Sanjosé S. ICO/IARCInformation Centre on HPV and Cancer
(HPV Information Centre). Human Papillomavirus and Related Diseases in Europe.
Summary Report 17 June 2019. [Date Accessed]