CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MPM announces the launch of a first-in-kind social impact oncology fund, raised in partnership with UBS. The UBS Oncology Impact Fund (the “OIF”) held the final closing this month on $471 million in committed capital. The OIF is an evergreen, crossover fund dedicated to investing in cancer therapeutics. Twenty percent of the committed capital will be dedicated to public equity investments, and the balance to private companies. In general, the OIF will co-invest with MPM’s BV2014 venture fund in private oncology company investments. To date, the OIF and BV2014 have co-invested in four oncology companies.
Beyond financial returns, the OIF will also seek to make a positive social impact. MPM has dedicated a portion of its own profits from the OIF to providing access to cancer care in the developing world where cancer kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. An equal portion of its profits will go to cancer research. MPM and the American Association for Cancer Research will collaborate to identify promising academic research that is likely to have a transformative effect on future clinical practice.
“We were honored to be selected as UBS’ partner in this path-breaking endeavor. We are proud of our depth of experience and track record in shepherding breakthrough treatments to commercial success,” stated MPM Managing Director and co-founder Ansbert Gadicke, M.D. “As a firm we strive to foster a culture where we constantly ask ‘What can we do better?’ The OIF demonstrates our commitment to not just investing in innovation, but innovation in investment.”
MPM brings to the OIF initiative a team of Managing Directors with deep oncology and investing experience, many of whom have already played important roles developing recent cancer therapies. These include the foundational sciences behind the leukemia drug Gleevec® and the cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil®. Additional cancer drugs where MPM Managing Directors played an important role in development include Afinitor®, Tasigna®, Jakavi®, Nexavar®, Kyprolis® and Blincyto®. With the OIF, MPM will continue its practice of deploying these senior-level executives with relevant operating experience into portfolio companies. Two of MPM’s Managing Directors, Patrick Baeuerle, Ph.D. and Mitchell Finer, Ph.D. are already at the helm of companies that are joint MPM/OIF investments. The other team members are Christiana Bardon, M.D., founder of Burrage Capital, who will manage OIF’s public equities portfolio; Pablo Cagnoni, M.D., currently also CEO of MPM portfolio company Tizona Therapeutics; Bard Geesaman, M.D., Ph.D., who has worked with MPM and its associated portfolio companies since 2002; Dan Hicklin, Ph.D., currently also CEO of MPM portfolio company Potenza Therapeutics; Briggs Morrison, M.D., currently also CEO of MPM portfolio company Syndax Pharmaceuticals and Greg Sieczkiewicz, J.D., Ph.D., who serves as Chief IP Counsel for a number of joint MPM/OIF portfolio companies.
The OIF will also benefit from the guidance of an experienced Advisory Board, co-chaired by Robert Horvitz, M.D., winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work on cell apoptosis and George Daley, M.D., whose research on the cancer biology of leukemia led to the development of the first precision cancer drug, Gleevec®. Drs. Horvitz and Daley are joined on the Advisory Board by Thomas Ebeling, the former CEO of the global Novartis pharmaceutical business, and David Ryan, M.D., a skilled clinician who leads a renowned specialized oncology group at Massachusetts General Hospital.
About MPM -- MPM Capital (www.mpmcapital.com) is an early-stage life sciences venture investing firm with a track record of success in building world-class companies around transformational treatments and cures. With its deep experience, dedicated team of operating executives and distinguished MSAB, MPM Capital is powering medical breakthroughs that change lives.