A joint partnership between UBS, a Swiss wealth management giant, and MPM Capital, a bio-venture fund manager, the UBS Oncology Impact Fund (OIF) is an evergreen fund that specialises in investments in early stage oncology and cancer therapeutics.
Oncology is socially significant - it is estimated that one in two men and one in three women will contract cancer in their lifetime. With the ageing populations in developed countries and an expanding middle class that is now able to afford better healthcare in emerging markets, demand for cancer drugs are expected to grow faster than for any other disease.
Infographic of the financing in the oncology field, highlighting gap in early stage research and development. (Source: UBS)
The UBS OIF aims to provide funds to fill what Mark Haefele, Global Chief Investment Officer of UBS Wealth Management and the Chair of the UBS Global Investment Committee, identifies as the ‘financing gap between the early development of promising compounds and when drug companies are sufficiently convinced of their merits to pledge financial support.’
Details of the investment:
Currently, some of the companies that MPM Capital has invested in are:
Harpoon Therapeutics, which uses T cell redirection to deliver deep remissions
IOmx Therapeutic AG, which targets T cell evasion to treat cancer
$471 million has been raised from investors, who are subjected to a minimum commitment of USD$500,000, and a five year period during which their funds are locked up. UBS has estimated investors to earn annual returns of more than 10 percent.
The impact of OIF is not limited to investment in early-stage cancer treatments, as 20% of any performance fees generated and 0.5% of royalties attached with best efforts to all successful drugs sales will be managed by UBS Optimus Foundation, an independent grant-making foundation, and made available for improving access to cancer care for children and their families in the developing world, and in turn improving their wellbeing. The other 0.5% of royalties will be spent on academic grants to promising oncology-related research.
UBS is also putting $5 billion towards their commitment to "channelling private wealth towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals," which cover issues such as health, hunger, and the environment, an aim that is announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2017.
1) Wall Street's Answer to Cancer https://www.huffingtonpost.com/april-rudin/wall-streets-answer-to-cancer_b_9195624.html
2) UBS Raises Record $471 Million for Oncological Impact Fund http://www.mpmcapital.com/press/ubs-raises-record-471-million-oncology-impact-fund/
3) UBS Raises $471 Million for Cancer Research Investment Fund https://www.ft.com/content/b5e1e678-0c6a-11e6-b0f1-61f222853ff3
4) UBS, MPM Team Up on $471 Million Cancer Fund to Speed Drug Development https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ubs-fund-cancer/ubs-mpm-team-up-on-471-million-cancer-fund-to-speed-drug-development-idUSKCN0XO1SJ
5) UBS Cancer Fund Shows Power of Impact Investing https://www.barrons.com/articles/ubs-cancer-fund-shows-power-of-impact-investing-1461898035