Ilya Pharma is awarded three million euros from H2020 EU SME programme

“This is amazing news! It’s a lot of money – and important money. There are many happy people here right now! It’s also clear confirmation that we are doing the right things, and that we have gathered a team with exactly the right expertise for our new technology”, says Evelina Vågesjö, CEO and one of the founders of Ilya Pharma.

With over 20,000 applications to Horizon 2020 SME Phase II, competition is fierce: only six percent are granted funding. The innovation projects chosen by the EU Commission should have the potential to change competitive conditions within a market, and be ‘potentially disruptive’. Appropriations are granted to SME companies, i.e. enterprises with fewer than 250 employees, with strong growth potential and an ambition to become world-leaders in their field.

“It’s our strategy to combine science, a well-defined medical need and business in a smart way. How we do this is unique and that’s what has now paid dividends. Ilya Pharma, founded in 2016, is a very young company compared to others that have been granted funds in the same programme. We have achieved our goals thanks to a fantastic team and network that has transformed a great research discovery into an innovative technology and a new type of drug candidate that has the potential to change how wounds are treated within healthcare in the future, and that clearly affects how government and industry think about biological drugs”, continues Evelina, who is also one of the three researchers that discovered the new wound-healing mechanism in 2012.

Both large and chronic wounds are an unresolved issue for the whole healthcare sector; they continue to consume major resources and require great care efforts. It is now hoped that Ilya Pharma’s new technology will accelerate the healing process by 80 percent and significantly reduce antibiotic use. Decreased suffering and infection risk for all patients with large or chronic wounds are other important goals, along with reducing the spread of antibiotic resistance.

“Now we are verifying drug safety and efficacy in large animals. In parallel, industrial-scale production is started and then it is time the first clinical study, which is an important milestone to commercialisation. There’s a lot to accomplish during the 18-month project period. So it’s time to roll up our sleeves and start delivering. Fortunately, this is what we are used to doing”, laughs a very satisfied Evelina Vågesjö.


For more information, please contact:

Evelina Vågesjö, CEO ILYA Pharma

+46 (0) 70 636 64 94



About Horizon 2020 – EU’s Research and Innovation Framework Programme

With nearly Euro 80 billion in grants available over seven years (2014-2020), Horizon 2020 is EU’s largest ever research and innovation programme. It promises to deliver breakthrough discoveries and world-firsts by taking good ideas from laboratory to market. The key goal is ensuring that Europe produces world-leading research, removes barriers to innovation, and facilitates public and private sectors working together to deliver innovation. SME Instrument, aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, allows financing of individual companies. For more information on Horizon 2020, see https://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/.


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