RDI programme in biosciences

The RDI programme developed new plasma protein products and therapies that are used for treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's and in vascular and cardiovascular surgery.

The promoter, Grifols is the world’s third largest and Europe’s largest manufacturer and distributor of plasma products – pharmaceuticals made from donated human plasma (the non-cellular component of blood). Forbes magazine has ranked Grifols amongst the world’s 100 most innovative companies.

The EIB-financed RDI programme comprised the following themes: (i) the discovery and development of new products (plasma proteins), (ii) finding new therapeutic indications for existing plasma proteins and (iii) the improvement of manufacturing processes to increase the yields of new products and their safety and efficiency. Therapeutic indications include Alzheimer's disease, vascular and cardiovascular surgery and arterial thrombolysis.

The rationale for EIB intervention was to promote novel innovations in line with the EU Horizon 2020 programme, so as to enhance quality of life and address major health problems through treating diseases with plasma therapies. The total investment expenditure of the RDI programme was EUR 290.8 million, of which the EIB loan accounted for EUR 100 million or 34%. The financing of the project met the eligibility criteria for an EFSI guarantee and it was among the first EFSI-backed EIB operations fully implemented and completed in 2017.

The RDI programme leads to an average of 100 patent applications and 11 collaboration agreements with universities and research institutes per year. The promoter’s European-based biosciences (RDI) division, located mainly in Barcelona, employs around 170 persons full-time.

Global demand for plasma products and derivatives is expected to grow annually by 5-7% over the medium term, varying according to protein and region. The main demand drivers are global population growth combined with increasing disposable income and life expectancy.