Switzerland among European top nations in innovation to fight cancer

30.01.2024 | Patents, IP news

Ahead of World Cancer Day (4 February), the European Patent Office (EPO) has just released a new study, which finds that innovation in the fight against cancer has surged by 70% between 2015 and 2021, as measured by the number of international patent families (IPFs).


Switzerland contributed largely to this development. In the past 20 years, close to 5000 international patent families have been registered for Swiss companies and research facilities. The country ranks 4th among the European countries with patented technologies combatting cancer. Applicants from Switzerland managed to gradually increase their contributions over the last decade, registering some 12% of all IPFs from European applicants in cancer-related segments between 2002 and 2021. With 555 IPFs per million inhabitants Switzerland ranks by far first among European countries in terms of cancer-related innovation per capita.


The new free online platform, “Technologies combatting cancer”, has been developed by EPO experts, in collaboration with 10 national patent offices (including IPI) in Europe. The tool presents over 130 datasets across four broad themes: prevention and early detection; diagnosis; therapies; and wellbeing and aftercare. The platform includes not just the 140 000 inventions on which the study was based, but many more besides. This is the fourth such platform from the EPO, following those on coronavirus, clean energy technologies and firefighting.