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    How we helped BioNTech develop the first COVID-19 vaccine

    Support for the development and manufacture of a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

    First signature
    EUR 100,000,000
    See more


    € 100,000,000
    Germany : € 100,000,000
    Services : € 100,000,000
    Signature date(s)
    10/06/2020 : € 50,000,000
    10/06/2020 : € 50,000,000
    Link to source

    Summary sheet

    Release date
    24 June 2020
    Signed | 10/06/2020
    Project name
    Promoter - financial intermediary
    Proposed EIB finance (Approximate amount)
    Total cost (Approximate amount)
    EUR 100 million
    EUR 300 million
    • Services - Professional, scientific and technical activities

    The promoter is a biopharmaceutical company at the forefront of developing next generation immunotherapies. The project supports the development of a prophylactic vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The investment plan includes R&D expenditures for the development of the product and the design and construction a of large-scale facility for the commercial manufacturing of the vaccine.

    The promoter is leveraging its vaccine platform to focus on developing a potent, efficacious, safe SARS-CoV-2 vaccine that could be manufactured rapidly, thereby ensuring a market supply for a substantial proportion of the population. Furthermore, the project is expected to have a positive impact on the sustainable growth and employment of the company. The EIB's services will assess the promoter's research, development and innovation (RDI) strategy, organisation and the expected quality and soundness of the investment during the appraisal.

    Environmental aspects

    The project mainly concerns investments in RDI that are expected to be carried out in the promoter's existing facilities or other research centres already authorised for the same purpose and would therefore not require an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) under the Directive 2014/52/EU amending the EIA Directive 2011/92/EU. Additional capital expenditures investments could also be expected to be made into the of an existing manufacturing facility to allow large scale production, this aspect of the project falls under the annex II of the EIA directive (2014/52/EU), referring to the manufacture of pharmaceutical products. Full environmental details will be verified during appraisal, including evidence of any screening by the competent authorities.

    The promoter has been assessed by the EIB as being a private company not being subject to EU rules on public procurement or concessions. However, if after the project appraisal, the EIB were to conclude that the Promoter is after all subject to EU public procurement legislation (Directive 2014/24/EU), then the Bank would require the Promoter to ensure that contracts for the implementation of the project will be tendered in accordance with the relevant applicable EU procurement legislation (Directive 2014/24/EU, as well as Directive 89/665/EEC) as interpreted by the Court of Justice of the EU, with publication of tender notices in the EU Official Journal, as and where required.

    Link to source


    Before financing approval by the Board of Directors, and before loan signature, projects are under appraisal and negotiation. The information and data provided on this page are therefore indicative.
    They are provided for transparency purposes only and cannot be considered to represent official EIB policy (see also the Explanatory notes).


    Environmental and Social Data Sheet (ESDS) - ANTIVIRAL VACCINE RDI (COVID-19)
    Publication Date
    28 Aug 2020
    Document language
    Main Topic
    Document Number
    Document Focus
    Environmental Information
    Project Number
    Publicly available
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    scoreboard - ANTIVIRAL VACCINE RDI (COVID-19)
    Publication Date
    21 Jul 2020
    Document Language
    Main Topic
    Document Number
    Document Focus
    EFSI legal requirements
    Document Type
    Project Number
    Last update
    22 Jul 2020
    Publicly available
    Download now

    News & Stories

    Inside the project

    How & why

    Supporting the fight against COVID-19 and promoting innovation


    • Vital to pandemic response
    • Supports the European supply chain for advanced vaccines
    • Strengthens research, development, innovation and skills in Europe


    • Market funding for large-scale infectious disease projects is limited. Stable, long-term funding from the EIB allows for timely development to respond to the pandemic
    • Upgrading production facilities to allow large scale production of a COVID-19 vaccine
    • Supporting the growth of an innovative biotech supports high-skilled jobs and European knowledge in a key sector


    Billions of vaccine doses

    The €100 million loan signed in June 2020, helped to finance the research, development, and advanced manufacturing facilities of BioNTech’s ground-breaking COVID-19 vaccine.

    2 billion doses of BioNTech’s vaccine, have been delivered around the world.





    A breakthrough vaccine against COVID-19

    We did everything we could to help make this vaccine happen.
    Gergely Krajcsi

    Investment officer, European Investment Bank

    The BioNTech financing is one example among dozens that show how venture debt from a public bank is important in helping companies in the infectious disease sector get to the later stages of development. The private sector is reluctant to invest in this part of the economy, because companies are often startups or have little track record and the eventual success of any innovation is hard to predict.

    The EIB had signed a €50 million loan with BioNTech in December 2019 to help the company work on cancer treatments and was impressed by the company’s team. The Bank signed this loan, worth €100 million, in June 2020, after an accelerated approval that concentrated into two months a process that normally takes longer than a year. This loan was designed to help BioNTech’s vaccine trials and manufacturing. It’s backed by the InnovFin Corporate Research Equity programme and the European Fund for Strategic Investments, which support innovative and higher risk projects financed by the European Investment Bank with a guarantee from the EU budget.

    It really doesn’t get any better than this,” says Gergely Krajcsi, an investment officer at the European Invesment Bank who worked on the BioNTech deal. The most we can contribute to the fight against COVID is to help companies, which are developing new vaccines, treatments or diagnostic solutions. We did everything we could to help make this vaccine happen.”

    A breakthrough vaccine against COVID-19
    BioNTech is really exciting because it’s a European biotech company with great science that is now one of the vaccine frontrunners, and it’s a company that we already supported in the past.
    Cristina Niculescu

    Healthcare expert, European Investment Bank

    The road to the COVID-19 vaccine

    Özlem Türeci and her husband, Uğur Şahin the founders of BioNTech wanted to run their own company to develop new therapies and innovations faster. Over the last decade, their company’s success has made the couple role models for scientists who also want to be entrepreneurs. BioNTech shifted its research to the COVID-19 vaccine in January. It called its COVID-19 project Lightspeed and told its hundreds of scientists that this would be a tough year.

    Many employees cancelled ski holidays and the company started running day and night shifts, as well as staying open on weekends, to speed up a project that normally takes many years to complete. BioNTech partnered with the pharmaceutical company Pfizer to expand its expertise for drug trials and the vaccine’s distribution.

    Why we embrace out-of-the-box ideas

    When we take a trip to meet a new client, we can sometimes feel that company’s management has a certain ego and wants to show it, but this wasn’t the case with BioNTech,” says EIB healthcare expert Cristina Niculescu. It was clear right away that this company was different. The founders were very humble, but they also were extremely impressive scientists.

    “At the start of the pandemic, we pushed hard to persuade everyone at the bank to agree to invest in the type of mRNA vaccines that BioNTech was making.  We were pretty sure this was going to be good. We said to ourselves, “If something has a chance, it is this one.” Today, we would not be surprised if BiNTech’s mRNA developments turn into a success in many different treatments of diseases, including cancer,”says Niculescu.


    General enquiries and comments

    The EIB is committed to open communication and encourages constructive stakeholder input regarding its activities.
    Enquiries and comments concerning the EIB’s involvement in a project or the financing facilities, activities, organisation and objectives of the EIB, can be sent to the EIB Infodesk.
    Alternatively, the EIB can be contacted through its external offices.
    Queries regarding details of a specific project, in particular when it is under appraisal by the EIB, should preferably be addressed directly to project promoters.

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    Media-related enquiries can be addressed to the EIB Press Office. Please also visit our Media information section.

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    Any complaint regarding alleged maladministration can be lodged via the EIB Complaints Mechanism. The European Ombudsman acts as an independent external accountability mechanism of the EIB.

    Zero tolerance against fraud and corruption

    The EIB has a zero tolerance policy on fraud or corruption. To report allegations of fraud and corruption relating to EIB-financed projects, please contact the Fraud and Investigation division. All complaints will be treated as strictly confidential and handled in line with the EIB investigation procedures and the Anti-Fraud Policy.

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