Investing in the fight against cancer: a concrete way to make a change

At Candriam, we have identified the fight against cancer as one of our key thematic strategies. Medical research needs private funding ! – and can be a source of opportunities for investors: highly innovative pharmaceutical or biotech companies may tend to present high earnings growth.

The innovation flow is multiple: it involves developing new drugs but also new procedures and tools to improve early detection and diagnosis as well as tumor profiling – which is key to more targeted therapies.

In the below interview, Rudi Van den Eynde, Head of Thematic Global Equity, shares his perspective on targeted medicine and its increasing cost. 

Rudi Van Den Eynde
Head of Thematic Global Equity
By investing in this strategy, you are supporting a broad range of innovative companies which may prove to be game-changers in cancer research.

Let’s write another story together

Find the right partner to invest in oncology

Our investment team, built over the past 20 years, has a strong medical background enabling them to evaluate the most complex drugs in terms of potential efficiency and opportunities.

How are we organized to detect tomorrow’s winners? Discover this in our “60 seconds with the fund manager” interview of Rudi Van Den Eynde, Head of Thematic Global Equity.


The cost of such innovative treatments is climbing fast, and is even skyrocketing for some, with the risk of making them harder to access... 

That’s the cost of targeted medicine. Until the early 1990s, new treatments primarily addressed large patient populations. Cancers were treated as effectively as was possible with chemotherapy. Since then, however, research has shown that there is not just one type of breast cancer. There are actually many types that can, and should, be treated with different drugs. Generally speaking, in oncology, some very rare cancers only affect a few tens of thousands of patients around the world, and sometimes just hundreds...

Biotechnology has given us weapons to fight them, but that also means that each drug that is developed can only be prescribed to a limited number of patients. Meanwhile, R&D costs have risen incessantly, forcing prices up in an increasingly fragmented market. Of course, we can’t be naive, and negotiations between healthcare authorities and labs are critical to regulating prices, as is the intense competition waged between labs.
What’s more, we must not forget that putting drugs on the market creates funding for the innovation of tomorrow. And, when patents expire 10 to 12 years after they are approved for market, competition from generic and biosimilar drugs becomes very strong and prices drop. Ultimately, I find the system fairly efficient and think it stimulates the investments needed to meet future challenges.
Rudi Van den Eynde
Head of Thematic Global Equity
27 years of experience
  • EN
    Investing in oncology: forewarned is forearmed
  • FR
    Un investissement dans l’oncologie : mieux vaut prévenir que guérir
  • NL
    Een belegging in oncologie: beter voorkomen dan genezen
  • DE
    In onkologie investieren: vorbeugen ist besser als heilen
  • IT
    Investire nel settore oncologico: meglio prevenire che curare
  • ES
    Inversión en oncología


The 5-year survival rate among female patients diagnosed in the United States.


1 out of 8 women, will develop an invasive form of cancer in their lifetime.
Prévenir Le Cancer Du Sein Def60 - Guillaumes

2 million  

New cases were diagnosed worldwide in 2020. 

 No. 1

Breast cancer is the No. 1 cancer among women, and the second most deadly, after lung cancer.

685 000

 Women died of breast cancer in 2020
Cancer du sein (

*Source - World Cancer Research Fund International 


Investing for tomorrow, and making a difference to cancer patients today

At Candriam, we believe the fight against cancer starts with concrete action, now. This is our dual impact philosophy. Investments in this strategy trigger a donation to leading institutes in oncology research[1], for research and innovation as well as supporting patients and their families. 2.4 million euros were given since 2018 to the fight against cancer[2].

To know more about the Candriam institute for Sustainable Development and its initiatives, visit the website here


[1] 10% of the net management fees received by Candriam on this strategy are allocated to associations and/or organizations fighting against cancer by being active in the field of scientific research and or the development of treatments, in social projects for families, in information, in public awareness and/or in cancer prevention, as set out in the section entitled Investment objectives of the regulatory documents.
[2] Donations between 2018 (creation of the Candriam Institute for Sustainable Development) and 2022. 2023 figures are not yet available.

All our strategies involve risks, including the risk of loss of capital.

The most significant risks on this strategy are:

  • Risk of loss of capital
  • Equity risk
  • Foreign exchange risk
  • Risk associated with derivative financial instruments
  • Liquidity risk
  • Emerging countries risk
  • ESG Investment risk
  • Counterparty risk
  • Risk related to external factors
  • Concentration risk
  • Sustainability risk
  • Risk of changes to the benchmark index by the index provider
  • Hedging risk of the share classes

For further details on risks associated with investing in the promoted strategy, a general description and explanation of the various risk factors is available in the section Risk Factors of the relevant regulatory documents.

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