Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) disclosed that it will create an investment fund that specializes in life-science business ventures involved in new drug development and regenerative medicine. The fund, totaling about 10 billion yen, will be the largest of funds in Japan that exclusively involve private sector participants. Successful operation of the new investment fund will increase capital for business ventures including those originating in academia and encourage vibrant competition in new drug development and other areas. The group affiliates, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, will provide the capital.
About 30 businessess will each receive 100 to 500 million yen in investment from the fund. During the first three years of the intensive investment period, the new fund is expected to contribute to a 10% increase in Japan’s life-science venture capital.
The recipients will include ventures in the field of regenerative medicine, drug developers that are newly independent from manufacturers, and companies dealing in innovative medical equipment such as artificial bones. As profits typically take longer to materialize in life-science businesses, the fund sets the duration of investment at twelve years, which is longer than other venture businesses.
The government has designated the field of life-science one of the pillars of its growth strategy. Mitsubishi UFJ started the specialized fund in the expectation of continued market expansion in the future.