APEIRON Biologics AG successfully performed its planned capital increase with subscription rights and private placement, raising EUR 11.9 million on 2 June 2020. At around EUR 7 million, Vienna Insurance Group was the anchor investor in this round of financing. Vienna Insurance Group holds a direct interest of just over 3% in APEIRON.
The investment by Vienna Insurance Group (Wiener Versicherung Gruppe) represents the largest share of the financing secured for a study of the development of a medication for treating seriously ill COVID-19 patients and immunoncology projects. The focus is on the medication APN01 that was co-developed by Upper Austrian Josef Penninger. If the results of the study are positive, efforts will be made to achieve accelerated approval and availability of the medication in Europe.
Vienna Insurance Group views this support mainly as a social investment by a sustainability-oriented insurance group. Insurance companies are important providers of capital for economies and generate positive stimulus for the economy and society. “The aim of the insurance business is to preserve values that create security from one generation to the next. However, acting sustainably and investing in all of the ESG criteria means more to us than just creating financial security. We also take future social and environmental trends into account when making our investments in order to actively participate in the creation of a future worth living. At the moment, this means providing support for the general drive to develop effective tools against the coronavirus as soon as possible”, explained Elisabeth Stadler, CEO of Vienna Insurance Group.
The insurance companies in the VIG Group also provided social support during the coronavirus crisis, in particular support for the healthcare system. This includes the following examples: The Romanian VIG Group company OMNIASIG provided EUR 50,000 in funding for medical equipment that is urgently needed by government hospitals to treat COVID-19 patients. The Georgian insurance company GPI Holding set up a fund to raise money to provide financial support for doctors and medical personnel. An initial tranche of EUR 29,000 has already been transferred to the Infectious Diseases Center in Georgia. The 900 employees of GPI Holding also took the opportunity to contribute to this fund to show their thanks and appreciation to the medical staff. The Kooperativa foundation in the Czech Republic provided more than EUR 37,000 to charitable organisations to acquire protective clothing, disinfectants and medications. This allows risk groups, such as the elderly and disabled, to be treated in nursing homes, hospices and other institutions.