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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - Ysios Biofund II case study: Sanifit (Spain), Biopharmaceutical


Sanifit is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of an experimental drug for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases linked to calcification in patients with kidney insufficiencies (renal disease) undergoing haemodialysis. The company started activities in 2007 as a spin-off from the University of the Balearic Islands, and has offices in Palma (Spain) and San Diego (USA).

“We manage the distribution of calcium in the body. People suffering from renal insufficiency run the risk of accumulation of calcium in their vessels, significantly increasing their cardiovascular risk and mortality rate. Our efforts are aimed at developing a drug to treat these cardiovascular conditions by managing the origin of the problem, ensuring that calcium build-up is effectively avoided” explains Joan Perelló, founder and CEO of Sanifit.

To fund this research in calcification-related disorders, Sanifit received an EU grant in 2010. “Looking back, I would say that the initial grant was crucial to generate value, to prove that we were onto something and convince future investors. It’s a validation of your work and we were able to leverage off that to seek further financing” Joan says.

With the research progressing, Sanifit then received an important equity investment in 2015 from Ysios Capital, a Spanish venture capital firm backed by EIF under the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe. This allowed the company to hire new staff and fund phase II clinical trials. “Before the investment, there were just four of us. Now the team is made up of around 22 persons” adds Joan, who adds that “it propelled us from a small, local early-clinical stage company to an international actor that recently opened new facilities in the United States.”

With phase II results expected in early 2018 for a first orphan indication and more in 2019, Sanifit is already in touch with regulatory authorities to plan phase III trials, which will hopefully result in the drug becoming available on the market soon thereafter.

Company: Sanifit (Spain)

Type of business: Biopharmaceutical

EIF financing: InnovFin Equity, EFSI

Financial intermediary: Ysios Biofund II

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Spain, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/es


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