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SoftBank invests in biopharmaceutical project

The SoftBank Vision Fund will lead a $1.1 billion equity investment in Switzerland-based biopharmaceutical company Roivant Sciences.16 Aug 2017

Roivant develops therapies for conditions in the fields of dermatology, urology and neurological conditions. The investment will allow the company to create new subsidiaries "within and beyond the biopharmaceutical industry", Roivant said.

Life sciences expert Catherine Drew of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com said the investment "reflects an increasing recognition of the value in data in the pharmaceutical sector."

Datavant, a new technology-focused subsidiary, will be "the first company in the Roivant family to operate outside of traditional biopharmaceutical development. Datavant aims to dissolve barriers between siloed healthcare datasets in order to unlock novel insights and reduce the time and cost of delivering innovative medicines to patients", the company said.

"Roivant has attracted world-class talent in its pursuit of developing and commercialising drugs that target large unmet medical needs," said Akshay Naheta, managing director of SoftBank Group.

"We are impressed with the ambition and track record of the Roivant team and look forward to supporting them in the next step of their journey, as they look to effectively harness technology and leverage big data across all aspects of their business," he said.

Japanese SoftBank launched the Softbank Vision Fund last year in partnership with Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund. It will invest at least $25 billion over the next five years and the fund could grow as large as $100 billion, Softbank said.