Asian Development Bank (ADB) is investing up to $60 million in a new healthcare private equity fund focused exclusively on Asia.

ADB’s Board of Directors approved an equity investment in OrbiMed Asia Partners II, LP, which is aiming to raise $300 million in capital to be invested in health care companies across Asia. It signed the agreement yesterday.

“Healthcare is a specialised sector with limited participation across mainstream institutional investors, particularly in Asia,” said director general of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department Todd Freeland.

“As one of the anchor investors in the fund, ADB will help catalyse additional investments in healthcare companies and sub-sectors that are envisioned to improve the delivery of healthcare goods and services at higher quality and lower cost,” he added.

Providing affordable and high-quality healthcare is an increasing challenge for the region’s developing countries, particularly because of its unique patient and healthcare dynamics, including lower affordability, high prevalence of certain diseases, geographical dispersion, and urban and rural inequalities.

The fund intends to invest in companies across the healthcare sector in Asia. A substantial portion of portfolio investments are expected to take place in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India, including rural and second- or third-tier cities within those geographies. The targeted sectors include pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostics, hospitals and health service providers, and contract research or manufacturing companies.

The fund is managed by OrbiMed Advisers LLC, a leading global investment firm dedicated to the healthcare sector, with approximately $10 billion of assets under management.

Since 1993, OrbiMed has invested approximately $1.7 billion in more than 165 private healthcare companies. OrbiMed established its first pan-Asia health care private equity fund in 2008.

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