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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €40 million (SEK 416m) loan agreement with Swedish biotech company Oncopeptides AB. The financing will support research, including phase 3 clinical studies of the lead candidate melflufen, and the expansion of the company.

The EU bank's loan is backed by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of theInvestment Plan for Europe under which the EIB and the European Commission are working together as strategic partners, with the EIB's financing operations boosting the competitiveness of the European economy.

Each year, approximately 3 in every 10,000 people are diagnosed withmultiple myeloma, for which there is no cure. Therefore, a key focus of treatment is extending and improving the quality of life for patients. Oncopeptides' Melflufen is a first in class peptide-drug conjugate (PDC) that targets aminopeptidases and rapidly releases alkylating agents into tumor cells. Melflufen is rapidly taken up by myeloma cells due to its high lipophilicity and is immediately hydrolyzed by peptidases to release an entrapped hydrophilic alkylator payload. A New Drug Application of Melfufen has been granted priority review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, for treatment of patients with multiple myeloma. A target date for the review is set to February 28, 2021. Oncopeptides is currently conducting one clinical phase 3 study and six clinical phase 2 studies.