Oslo, Norway 18 January 2024 – Circio Holding ASA (OSE: CRNA) today announces that Business Finland has approved Circio’s application for a waiver in full of three R&D loans totalling EUR 6.2m granted towards the development of ONCOS-102. As a result, Circio’s equity will be increased by a corresponding amount.
Business Finland is a public agency that provides funding towards R&D activities for companies in Finland. Targovax Oy, a wholly owned Finnish subsidiary of Circio Holding ASA, received three loans from Business Finland for the development and commercialization of ONCOS-102 in 2010, 2012 and 2013, totalling EUR 6 209 888. The loans were repayable over a ten-year period from 2021-2031 with an interest rate of currently 1.25% p.a.
In 2023, Circio made the strategic decision to prioritize and accelerate pre-clinical development of its innovative circular RNA (circRNA) platform and discontinue the ONCOS-102 program. Following this decision, Circio applied for a waiver of the three ONCOS-102 loans. On 15 January 2024, Business Finland approved the application and granted a waiver in full of the outstanding principal amount and future interest of the three loans. The waiver is subject to the termination of the ONCOS-102 program and its related IP and the liquidation of Targovax Oy, which is ongoing with the relevant authorities in Finland.
Dr. Lubor Gaal, CFO of Circio Holding ASA, said: “The Business Finland loans were granted to Oncos Therapeutics Oy more than ten years ago, and assumed by the Targovax group following the acquisition of Oncos Therapeutics in 2015. We greatly appreciate the goodwill and flexibility shown by Business Finland in waiving these loans, thereby enabling us to fully dedicate our resources towards development of our groundbreaking circVec platform, which has the potential to disrupt the genetic medicine and vaccine fields“.
About Business Finland
Business Finland is the government organization for innovation funding and trade, travel, and investment promotion in Finland. More information: https://www.businessfinland.fi/en/for-finnish-customers/home.
Building next generation RNA therapeutics
Circio Holding ASA is a biotechnology company developing novel circular RNA and immunotherapy medicines.
Circio has established a unique circular RNA (circRNA) platform to develop novel circRNA medicines for rare disease, vaccines, and cancer. The proprietary circVec technology is based on a modular genetic cassette design for efficient biogenesis of multifunctional circRNA from DNA and viral vectors, which can be deployed for many purposes. The circVec platform has demonstrated enhanced and more durable protein expression than classic mRNA vector systems, and has the potential to become the new gold-standard for DNA and virus-based therapeutics in the future. The circRNA R&D activities are being conducted by the wholly owned subsidiary Circio AB based at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.
In addition, Circio is developing a cancer vaccine, TG01, targeting KRAS driver mutations. TG01 is currently being tested in three clinical trials: RAS-mutated pancreatic cancer and lung and non-resectable pancreatic cancer in US, and multiple myeloma in Norway. These studies are being run through academic collaborative networks, supported by prestigious research grants from Innovation Norway and the Norwegian Research Council, creating read-outs and future optionality for the program at low cost to Circio.
This information is considered to be inside information pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation, and is subject to disclosure requirements pursuant to Section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act. The stock exchange announcement was published by Renate Birkeli, Investor Relations, Circio Holding ASA.