UBS' Oncology Impact Fund Begins To Bear Fruit

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 21 December 2018

UBS' Oncology Impact Fund Begins To Bear Fruit

The fund is being used to finance cancer treatments and further research.

(Corrects earlier version - the fund had already been raised, with the new development being application of the funds.)

A fund raised by UBS as part of a drive to research cancer has made its first gift to a program run in the US.

The UBS Oncology Impact Fund, overseen by MPM Capital, has paid $1.2 million, with a further indentical amount due.

The contribution follows the announcement two years ago by UBS Wealth Management that it had raised $471 million for the final closing of the UBS Oncology Impact Fund, an impact investing initiative aimed at developing cancer treatments.

Investments are being made in early stage oncology to accelerate the development of new cures and the fund will also support academic research and better access to cancer care in the developing world.

A share of any performance fees generated and half of a royalty attached with best efforts to all successful drugs sales will be managed by UBS Optimus Foundation and pay for access to cancer care for children and their families in the developing world. The other half of the royalty amount will be spent on academic grants to promising oncology-related research. The fund has already struck the first royalty agreement of this type.

This is an example of the trend of impact investing, where money is put to work to achieve non-financial goals – such as curing illnesses, reducing poverty and pollution – as well as monetary rewards.

The Swiss firm’s chief investment office has identified a number of potentially attractive areas where money can be put to work in these ways, such as textile supply chain innovation, affordable emerging market healthcare, insurance for climate change resilience, and protein alternatives.

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