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EBRD supports development of Poland’s pharmaceutical sector

  • EBRD extends financial package worth €146 million to Poland’s leading pharmaceutical group
  • Loan supports expansion of Polpharma’s production and research and development activities
  • Investment contributes to development of new medical products; improves access to healthcare and medical services

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the development of Poland’s pharmaceutical sector by providing a financial package worth €146 million to its leading pharmaceutical manufacturing group.

The Bank is lending PLN 400 million (€91 million) to Zakłady Farmaceutyczne Polpharma S.A (Polpharma) and €55 million to Windstorm Trading & Investments Limited, the holding company which consolidates Polpharma and Polpharma Biologics.

The EBRD’s financing is provided as part of a consortium of financing with eight other local lenders.

The Bank’s investment will enable Windstorm Group to expand its production and invest in large-scale research and development (R&D) activities in generic and biosimilar medicines. This will support the rollout of new generic drugs and biotechnology products, and strengthen Windstorm Group’s position as a frontrunner in the pharmaceutical field in the economies where the EBRD operates.

Biologics and biotech represent the frontier of current biomedical research, providing a path to innovation, affordability and development in pharmaceuticals, unlocking the potential of medicines protected for many years by patents.

Although this area is driving the growth of the pharmaceutical market, it is also significantly more R&D intensive compared to traditional generics, requiring incomparably large spending and advanced scientific and engineering capabilities. Polpharma Biologics is the only group in the EBRD regions with this capacity.

Frederic Lucenet, EBRD Global Head of Manufacturing and Services, said: “We are proud to be able to deepen our cooperation with Polpharma and Windstorm and support the group with the long-term financing necessary for it to remain financially resilient while also partaking in long-term R&D projects. Our investment also supports the 2020 Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe, which contributes to the development of new medical products that will improve people’s wellbeing and access to healthcare and medical services.”

Elisabetta Falcetti, EBRD Regional Head for Poland the Baltic states, said: “Polpharma is one of the most important pharmaceutical companies in Poland, and we are pleased to support it in becoming more competitive not only in Poland but across its other export markets. We are also particularly pleased that, as part of the investment, Polpharma will undertake a series of initiatives to promote a more inclusive working environment for its women workers, which make up more than half of its total local workforce.”

Gertjan Noordermeer, Chief Financial Officer of Windstorm Group, said: “We feel honoured that the EBRD and other banks participating in the consortium have accepted our invitation to continue cooperating in our long-term development, including with R&D projects – this time, covering two areas of our business: (i) generics, which is a well-established and financially recognised element of our operations; and (ii) high-quality biosimilars, the business area we created from scratch and which now holds a position on the global market. We are pleased that the international banking sector is supporting these initiatives.”

Wojciech Rosa, Chief Financial Officer of Polpharma, said: “Polpharma’s purpose is to help people live a healthy life in a healthy world. The development of modern pharmaceutical products that respond to contemporary health challenges plays a key role in our activities. Working with the EBRD will help us effectively implement our long-term development plans and expand access to effective therapies for patients in Poland and other countries.”      

Polpharma is the largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in Poland, and one of the top generic drug producers in central and eastern Europe. It is an existing EBRD client. Windstorm Trading & Investments Limited is a Cyprus-domiciled holding company that consolidates Polpharma Group and Polpharma Biologics Group. 

The EBRD is among the leading institutional investors in Poland. Since the start of its operations in the country in 1991, the Bank has invested more than €14 billion in 526 projects.

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