- The Swiss bank UBS and MPM Capital together have raised $471 million to close fundraising for the UBS Oncology Impact Fund, a venture project which hopes to narrow the gap between early-stage drug development and down-the-road investment from pharma companies.
- Over five years, the Fund plans to invest in 10 to 20 early-stage oncology drugs, with an initial investment of about $10 million each, reports Reuters.
- A portion of the royalties generated by successful drugs will go toward academic grants for oncology-related research, UBS said.
Tech transfer from academia and small start-ups to mid- and large-sized biotech and pharma companies is the lifeblood of the discovery process. However, there is a point between early efforts and eventual hand-off where funding can become a problem.
The Oncology Impact Fund aims to bridge this gap while delivering strong returns for investors, who have to pledge a minimum of $200,000, according to Reuters.
"The record sum raised for the UBS Oncology Impact Fund is a milestone for our work in sustainable investing and for the impact investing industry as a whole," said Jurg Zeltner, President of UBS Wealth Management.
For its part, Boston-based MPM Capital has helped build out companies from promising therapies over the past 20 years. It closed a $400 million fund last year and has already made a number of investments, six of which are in oncology companies.