European Commission approves €40 million Italian aid measure to support coronavirus related research and development activities

The European Commission has approved a €40 million Italian aid measure to support coronavirus related research and development (R&D) by biotechnology company ReiThera S.r.l. The measure was approved under the State aid Temporary Framework.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This €40 million Italian measure will support research into a new vaccine against the coronavirus. We continue to work closely with Member States to support measures that can help us find solutions to tackle the pandemic, in line with EU rules.”

The Italian aid measure

Italy notified to the Commission under the Temporary Framework a €40 million aid measure to support coronavirus related R&D activities by ReiThera S.r.l., a medium-sized biotechnology company located in the Lazio region. The public support will take the form of a direct grant.

The aim of the measure is to support the development of a novel coronavirus vaccine, contributing to finding solutions to respond to the current health crisis. The candidate vaccine developed by ReiThera has been evaluated in preclinical studies and in a phase I clinical study that has shown that it is safe in adult and elderly people. The measure will support the setting-up and implementation of the next development step, a phase II/III study to confirm safety and demonstrate efficacy.

The Commission found that this aid measure is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, (i) the aid will cover less than 60% of the relevant R&D costs; and (ii) any results of the research activities will be made available to third parties in the European Economic Area at non-discriminatory market conditions through non-exclusive licences.

The Commission concluded that the Italian measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to fight the health crisis, in line with Article 107(3)(c) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework.

On this basis, the Commission approved the aid measure under EU State aid rules.

 

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