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World Cancer Day: Servier, committed to fight cancer

February 4th is World Cancer Day, dedicated to informing and raising public awareness of the various forms of a deadly disease.

Key Cancer Facts

  • 9.6 million people die from cancer every year.1
  • Cancer is the second most common cause of death worldwide.2
  • At least one third of common cancers are preventable.2
  • 65% of cancer deaths occur in low-to-middle income countries.2
  • Up to 3.7 million lives could be saved each year by implementing appropriate strategies and resources for prevention, early detection, and treatment.3

1 Globocan 2018.
3 Closing the Cancer Divide: An Equity Imperative. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Global Equity Initiative; 2012. Distributed by Harvard University Press.

The World Cancer Day was created in 2000 by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). This initiative is a catalyst for personal, collective, and governmental actions worldwide, to preventing millions of cancer-related deaths and providing equal access to care, regardless of identity or location. Every year, hundreds of activities and events take place around the world, bringing communities, organizations, and individuals together to address with a single voice one of the biggest health challenges of our century.

The theme of this World Cancer Day campaign, “I am and I will”, focuses on each of us and our commitment to act.

Visual of the 2021 World Cancer Day campaign

Infographics: How cancer affects our world

World Cancer Day Campaign Material by Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)

Infographics: How cancer affects our world

A strong commitment from Servier…

Faced with the growing need for therapeutic solutions, Servier has made oncology one of its priorities and will devote 50% of its R&D budget to this area, starting from the 2020-21 financial year. The Group thus aims to become an innovative and renowned player in this field, by initiating therapeutic advances where the need is greatest. It conducts its R&D programs in oncology by focusing on the development of treatments for cancers for which therapeutic needs are, for the most part, not yet covered and difficult to treat, such as gastrointestinal, hematological, pancreatic, or pediatric cancers.

2020 marked a new step in Servier’s determination to accelerate its commitment to oncology.

The Group acquired Symphogen in June 2020. The Danish biotech company has developed a cutting-edge research platform capable of rapidly identifying new-generation monoclonal antibodies. Symphogen now becomes Servier’s center of excellence for antibodies, which are particularly interesting for identifying and neutralizing cancer cells.

At the end of 2020, Servier announced plans to acquire the oncology division of the American laboratory Agios Pharmaceuticals. This acquisition will enable the Group to strengthen its portfolio of drugs in malignant hematology and its research pipeline in solid tumors. The agreement is expected to be finalized in the second quarter of 2021.

Did you know?

In 2020, Servier launched its first medicine under its own name in Japan, the second largest oncology market in the world after the United States. It also launched its first medicine in the field of solid tumors in Brazil.

…and with the patients

Servier is committed to supporting patients in their fight against cancer, integrating them at the heart of every decision, from research to support beyond drug treatment. Because listening to patients, their families, and their needs allows us to develop a more effective therapeutic solution.

Through its SHAPE program, the Group is developing, in collaboration with the Digestive Cancers Europe (DiCE) coalition and health care professionals, tools to improve the quality of life of gastrointestinal cancer patients and to support them and their families throughout their journey against the disease. This approach has led to the production of four brochures.

With the PROMETCO program, Servier is conducting its first real-life data study in colorectal cancer. These data provide complementary information to clinical trial data, with the potential to fill gaps in knowledge regarding, for example, the use of drugs by patients in everyday life. And ensure the performance and personalization of treatments. The study is expected to be completed by 2023.


“Engaging with patients is – more than ever – essential to better answering to patient needs for a better care. In oncology, Servier collaborated with four international coalitions in digestive cancers, leukemia and pediatric cancers in 2020. Plus, we work hand-in-hand with local patient organizations to accompany the development of therapeutic solutions and co-create patient services to improve patients’ and carers’ life.” 

Marie-Jeanne Pierrat – Patient Group Relation Manager in Oncology and Hematology

Servier has moved up in the PatientView 2019 rankings and is ranked 10th in the field of oncology. 

This barometer surveys the reputation of pharmaceutical companies among patient associations. It is based on criteria such as transparency, patient involvement in research, and the existence of services beyond the drug.

Visual of the 2021 World Cancer Day campaign
World Cancer Day Campaign Material by Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)