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Our contribution to the fight against Cancer


World Cancer Day, held every 4th of February, is dedicated to encourage action for a cancer-free future by raising awareness of cancer, its symptoms, and the innovative discoveries used to fight it aiming to reduce illness and death caused by cancer. 

Umicore cares in effectively treating cancer and supporting patients. In particular, for our Precious Metals Chemistry (PMC) business. We use our long-standing expertise to provide the oncology sector with high-quality anti-cancer molecules and services.

Since the discovery in the 1960s of cisplatin, one of the components used to treat different cancers, platinum-based metal complexes including carboplatin and oxaliplatin have become a key tool for modern medicine to build cancer treatment plans. Recent figures estimate that nearly 50% of cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy receive a platinum drug either alone or in combination therapy. These treatments work as cytotoxic agents, meaning that while not all chemistries are the same, they interfere with DNA replication which theoretically causes cancerous cells to die.  

This family of drugs have been shown to be effective on a range of cancers, such as testicular, ovarian and lung cancer, and are still relied on by millions of cancer patients around the world.

Umicore’s Precious Metals Chemistry business is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high potency, metal-containing and organic active pharmaceutical ingredients (hAPIs). This rapidly growing class of treatment potentially offers patients lower dose requirements and fewer side effects. For the last two decades, we’ve leveraged our position as a market leader to produce high-quality anti-cancer molecules and provide tailored support for our partners changing the future of oncology treatments. Furthermore, our business is fully integrated into all steps of drug production, from metal management to metal recycling, improving sustainability and ease-of-supply for customers.

To ensure that Umicore can continue to meet our commitment for effective cancer treatments, we continue to heavily invest in our production facilities across the world. In 2018, the Umicore Argentina plant, which produces a series of anti-cancer active pharmaceutical ingredients, was successfully audited for the second time by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Our dedication to fighting cancer goes further than our materials technology expertise, helping patients directly with annual donations to the “Parents’ Initiative for Children with Leukemia and Tumors Würzburg”. The money goes towards supporting young cancer patients and their families both within the clinic and at home during the duration of their treatment. 

If you’d like to learn more about how Umicore leverages its expertise to address the need for new pharmaceuticals click here

More about our hAPI expertise and capabilities here