Irish-listed speciality drug firm Amryt Pharma has agreed a €20m loan facility from the European Investment Bank, which will provide it with near- and mid-term funding requirements for its lead product, Episalvan.
The funding will be split into three tranches and has a five-year term from drawdown, at an interest rate of 3%. It will fund the further near-term development of Episalvan, which is being positioned as a world-leading treatment for rare skin disorder epidermolysis bullosa.
It will also fund Amryt’s AP102 compound, which has received orphan drug designation in the US. It has the potential to treat patients with acromegaly which is a rare disorder resulting in abnormal body growth due to the production of excessive growth hormone.
Amryt said that the bank loan will present a “minimal cash burden” and will be available in three tranches — €10m immediately available and separate tranches of €5m depending on Episalvan reaching certain milestones.
The treatment market for epidermolysis bullosa alone, is estimated to be worth around €1.4bn per year.
“Having now fully funded our Episalvan programme we will look for further opportunities to fill the incredibly high unmet need in the orphan drugs market,” said chief executive Joe Wiley.
Amryt’s share price shot up nearly 15% yesterday on the back of the news.
This marks the first time that the bank has invested in an Irish pharmaceutical company, and it said it intends to increase support for private sector innovation in Ireland.
“Continued investment in innovation is crucial to improve lives,” said vice- president Andrew McDowell.
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