Icosagen receives €18M loan for R&D and new facility

Icosagen GMP facility EIB pr

The Estonian biopharma company Icosagen AS has reached an €18 million financing agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) backed by the InvestEU program. 

The funds will strengthen the company’s drug discovery, development and production services. 

The funds are part of Icosagen’s €40 million investment into increasing its innovative contract research and development capabilities as well as into a new current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) facility to produce innovative drugs for clinical trials.

The agreement seeks to provide a major boost to the biological drug development industry in Estonia.

The construction of the new 1,600 m2 production plant expands on Icosagen’s existing laboratories in Tartu, Estonia, and will be completed in September 2023. The plant is expected to become operational in 2024. 

The new facility will help Icosagen become a one-stop shop for its biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients, and a full contract research, development and manufacturing organization (CRDMO), offering seamless discovery, development and manufacturing capabilities of mammalian protein drug candidates.

“We have steadily been working towards this important milestone for a long time,” said CEO and founder of Icosagen Mart Ustav. 

“Developing novel technologies and workflows will help increase our competitiveness in providing contract research and development service to our clients in Europe and other regions of the world. The cGMP facility will provide further state-of-the-art training and employment opportunities for local and regional scientists and, at the same time, expand the capabilities and impact of the European biopharmaceutical drug production industry. We are very grateful to the EIB for their crucial support in this endeavor.” 

Senior director business development of Icosagen Cell Factory Oliver Schub added: “In 2022, Icosagen Cell Factory worked with over 100 protein drug/vaccine developing companies, in well above 500 projects, producing more than 3 000 different recombinant proteins. Our partner clients can now seamlessly proceed from antibody discovery, over transient preclinical protein production, into stable CHO cell line development, and right into clinical GMP manufacturing, all from one team on a single site. Our unique CRDMO concept results in minimized development timelines, costs and project management efforts.”

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