UBS Wealth Management which will release its first quarter results this Tuesday and might announce a change in its business, has raised a record $471 million for the final closing of the UBS Oncology Impact Fund, an impact investing initiative aimed at developing cancer treatments.
Investments will be made in early stage oncology to accelerate the development of new cures. Cancer care is particularly appropriate for this kind of investment because of a supportive regulatory environment.
According to UBS, the market for cancer drugs is expected to grow faster than for any other disease, due to populations ageing in developed countries and an expanding middle class in emerging markets with better access to care. Oncology is the largest and fastest growing therapeutic area in terms of drug development activity, representing approximately a quarter of total research spend.
In addition to investing in early-stage cancer treatments, the Oncology Impact Fund will support academic research and better access to cancer care in the developing world. A portion 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 ultimately fund expanded 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, bringing this innovative practice from theory to reality.
Jürg Zeltner, President of UBS Wealth Management, says: "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. We believe initiatives like this can give hope to cancer sufferers and their families and divert more capital towards finding treatments and cures."
Mark Haefele, Global Chief Investment Officer at UBS Wealth Management, says: "Impact investing gives our clients an opportunity to change the world and earn a financial return simultaneously. Using this growing medium to target cancer, one of the planet's biggest killers, helps fulfil a critical social goal."
Ansbert Gadicke, Co-Founder at bioventure investment manager MPM Capital, which is collaborating with UBS WM on the UBS Oncology Impact Fund, says: "We are delighted to be advising UBS on the management of this landmark fund. Over the long term, we hope this collaboration will add significant value in the field of oncology and in ongoing efforts to finance its development."