UBS clients invest US$650 million in cancer fight
MPM Capital’s fund targets companies developing innovative treatments for cancer and other serious illnesses
11 Oct 2021 | The Asset

UBS Global Wealth Management clients have invested US$650 million in a fund investing in companies developing innovative treatments for cancer. The amount represents more than 75% of the US$850 million raised in total for MPM Capital’s Oncology Impact Fund 2 (OIF 2). The total sum raised makes OIF 2 the largest dedicated impact investment fund in biotech history, the bank says.

The fund, which is closed for further subscription, will create and invest in both private and public companies that develop innovative treatments for cancer and other serious illnesses. It will target companies developing breakthroughs, innovative treatments, and therapeutics.

MPM Capital’s BioImpact Capital team will oversee the fund and invest 80% of its capital into private companies, with the remaining 20% going towards public companies. As an impact investment, it will aim to generate a compelling financial return for investors, as well as a positive long-term impact on patients’ lives.   

UBS Group chief executive officer Ralph Hamers says: “For many years, UBS has been at the forefront of sustainable finance and it is our goal to continue to mainstream sustainable and impact investments. The OIF 2 is a great example of how UBS is making further progress on this objective, working with an expert partner to connect our clients with investible solutions that have the potential to improve the health and lives of many.” 

Combined with the UBS Oncology Impact Fund (OIF 1), which closed in 2016, UBS clients have helped raise more than US$1 billion for investment in treatments to address cancer. OIF 1's investments have a strong track record in developing potentially effective new cancer treatments, the bank says. Recent successes of portfolio companies include ElevateBio, which earlier this year raised a US$525 million Series C round of financing, and Orna, which has raised more than US$100 million from MPM and outside investors. 

UBS Global Wealth Management's Chief Investment Office has identified several other themes as attractive from an impact investing perspective, including climate change, food resilience, green technologies, healthcare, education, diversity and inclusion. 

“OIF 2 will focus on oncology as well as cell, gene, and RNA therapies, building off the strong performance of OIF 1,” says BioImpact Capital managing partner and MPM managing director Ansbert Gadicke. “As always, we are driven to ensure that the companies we invest in are at the vanguard of innovation, developing breakthroughs and innovative therapeutics.” 

As with OIF 1, in addition to the positive impact generated through its investments, OIF 2 is committed to achieving significant philanthropic impact as well, without affecting investor returns. A portion of MPM’s success fees from OIF 2, as well as a share of revenues from treatments originated by MPM companies, will be donated to the UBS Optimus Foundation, to improve access to cancer treatment in the developing world, and to the American Association for Cancer Research, to help fund grants for initial-stage cancer research – so far, US$8 million has been granted due to the performance of OIF 1.

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