In partnership with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, The Focus Fund GP, LLC, has launched the “Cancer Focus Fund,” to provide investment support to investigational therapies in late preclinical development through to phase I and phase IB/II clinical trials. Along with the fund’s partners at MD Anderson, the Cancer Focus Fund provides both capital and translational research expertise with the goal of accelerating the development of novel cancer therapies that result in better outcomes for patients while generating returns for investors.
Small-to-midsized biopharmaceutical companies often face challenges in conducting effective early-stage clinical studies because of funding shortages as well as lack of access to oncologists, clinical facilities, and eligible patients. Cancer Focus Fund aims to address this unmet need by providing investments for promising cancer therapeutics together with the clinical trials expertise and infrastructure of MD Anderson. The goal is to accelerate the progress of these potential therapies through early-phase studies.
Cancer Focus Fund held its initial closing with over $50 million of capital commitments. In addition to MD Anderson, Limited Partners include the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, Rice University Endowment, Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Shreveport Foundation, Ochsner Health, and other private investors.
Cancer Focus Fund is jointly administered by a scientific advisory committee, made up of MD Anderson researchers and physicians along with an investment committee, composed of experienced biotechnology investment professionals. The scientific committee will consider candidates from worldwide sources for potential investment based on scientific merit, and the investment committee will make final decisions on funding based on those recommendations.