EU funds Swedish company's HIV diagnostic device in first loan under new initiative

The European Investment Bank gave Sweden's Cavidi AB a €10 million ($11 million) long-term loan to develop a next-generation diagnostic device for HIV viral load. The funding is the first under the InnovFin Infectious Diseases initiative to fund high-risk, innovative companies focused on infectious diseases.

The EIB says Cavidi's device can work in simple laboratories, like those common in developing countries that are hardest hit by HIV. The bank says that quantification of the HIV virus can help stop the spread of the disease, noting that those who maintain a low viral load are less likely to transmit the virus.

"We are pleased to be partnering with Cavidi in this breakthrough operation as it will enable the EU bank to support future technologies whose concrete applications will effectively tackle the HIV pandemic. With this first InnovFin Infectious Diseases loan we confirm our commitment to providing easier access to finance, especially for higher-risk projects, in the medical sector. This is crucial to bridging the gap from pure research and development to commercially viable enterprises in Europe," said EIB Vice President Jonathan Taylor in a statement.

The InnovFin initiative is supposed to provide European innovators with more than €24 billion ($26.4 billion) in financing over the next 7 years.

John Reisky de Dubnic, CEO of Cavidi, said in a statement, "These new financing sources are crucial as they are some of the few available for companies moving from an R&D success to a commercial product. We have a proven and effective technology that can benefit millions of people in high-burden countries. This support from the EIB will help us realize our technology faster and increase access to viral load monitoring for those living with HIV who need it most."

Cavidi deploys the research of virologists from Uppsala University. It has offices in Sweden, South Africa, India and the U.S.

- read the release