The world’s largest global wealth manager, UBS, has raised a record of €416M for its UBS Oncology Impact Fund, aimed at developing cancer treatments.

ubs_oncology_impact_fund_2016Based in Switzerland, UBS Group is a historic financial company – managing investment and corporate finance advice.

One of its areas of investment is ‘impact investing‘, for which UBS creates specific funds to answer social pressing issues. These include things like the supply chain of textiles, climate change, alternative sources of food protein – and cancer.

To tackle ‘one of the planet’s biggest killers’, UBS set up its Oncology Impact Fund – which has just announced a record fundraising of around €416M ($471M).


Infographic of diagnosed cancers each year (Source: UBS)

Clearly, investors agree with UBS’s arguments why oncology is a promising field for investment – the market for cancer drugs is expected to grow faster than any other therapeutic area, and it is a very active research area.

This money will be invested in early stage oncology to accelerate the development of new cures. Surely this will target a fair share of Biotechs, given how the field is changing the treatment of cancer.

The Fund also has the collaboration of MPM Capital, a VC in life sciences based in the US (but also interested in German Biotech).


Infographic of the financing in the oncology field, highlighting gap in early stage research and development. (Source: UBS)

The fund is also implementing a novel royalty scheme, that targets sales of successful cancer drugs coming out of these investments.

Part of the royalties due to UBS’s Fund will be used to provide better access to healthcare in developing countries and fund promising areas of academic research.

As the largest wealth manager in the world, UBS is able to raise impressive sums. But it is not alone in having good results – just recently, Forbion (Netherlands & Germany) raised €183M. More proof that VC interest in Biotech is high.

This is exciting news for the oncology field. Will some European start-ups in the area of cancer be contemplated with a check from UBS?

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