Together against cancer: MSD Switzerland is event-partner of Race for Life 2022

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05.09.2022 08:00 Europe/Zurich

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Lucerne, 5th September 2022 – This year, for the first time, MSD (Merck Sharp & Dohme AG) Switzerland is event partner of the Race for Life bicycle marathon in support of cancer patients and cancer research in Switzerland. In addition to financial support, the event on September 11 in Bern offers an important opportunity for a much-needed collaboration in cancer care.

On September 11, for the 12th consecutive year, Swiss cyclists will embark on a tour for even better cancer care in the future – the Race for Life. The individual cyclists and teams will complete the circuits over Bern, the old town, Wabern, Gurten and Längenberg, over eight hours as often as possible or as they please. The event focuses on supporting three institutions: The Bern Cancer League, the Swiss Association for Clinical Cancer Research (SAKK) and the Swiss Cancer Foundation. “MSD Switzerland is honored to be a partner for the first time this year” emphasizes Dr. Ans Heirman, Managing Director MSD Switzerland, “and not only as a sponsor, but also with numerous personal commitments! More than 70 colleagues are participating as cyclists and over 10 MSD employees are supporting on site as volunteers.” 

Together for an optimized supply landscape

Cancer remains one of the greatest challenges for the Swiss healthcare system. One in three people will develop cancer in the course of their lives. This means that around 40,000 people in Switzerland are confronted with this diagnosis every year.1 Each of these patients has a long, usually complex journey ahead of them, which requires coordinated treatment management.2 Unfortunately, this is still contrasted by a highly fragmented cancer care landscape without a structured national plan for cancer control. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in delays in the screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients.

MSD has a long history of bringing forward innovative medicines. In the field of oncology, we focus on immunotherapy, which aims to activate the body’s own immune system to fight tumors. Our relentless commitment to research and development has enabled us to establish an exceptionally broad research program worldwide.

Beyond the charitable purpose, the Race for Life offers an important opportunity to draw attention to these existing challenges, to inform people about the topic of cancer care, to motivate the early detection of symptoms, and to make a real difference. “Only by joining forces we can create structure at regional and national level that make the best possible treatment available to Swiss cancer patients in a timely manner,” says Will Wooding, Director Business Unit Oncology, MSD Switzerland, “It’s time to build a coalition of all interested stakeholders and pedal together in solidarity. Together we can build an optimized cancer care landscape for those suffering with cancer in Switzerland!”

Survey on Cancer Care in Switzerland

In a representative survey of the population conducted by MSD in cooperation with the gfs.bern research institute, the quality of care for cancer patients was examined. This is considered good or very good by almost 90 percent of the population. However, the results of the study also clearly show that, on closer examination, there is still a clear need for action. Among all respondents, about 15 percent were dissatisfied with early cancer detection and cancer prevention. Almost a quarter could also imagine better psychological care. Download Report

À propos cancer…Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and associated cancers are still a neglected disease

HPV is widespread and the diseases associated with it are often underestimated. Every day in Switzerland, more than 1 person develops HPV-related cancer. MSD is committed globally to advance the elimination of HPV-related cancers. In Switzerland, the HPV Alliance was launched in June to work together to raise awareness of HPV among the Swiss population, strengthen prevention measures and create further data foundations.

About Race for Life

The Race for Life will start on Sunday, 11 September 2022 at 10:00 am, on the Bundesplatz in Bern. You can also support the event as a private person: as a cyclist individually or in a team, as a volunteer or as a sponsor. Registration is possible at


  1. Swiss Cancer Report 2021
  2. B. Lomazzi, B. Borisch. Game changer in cancer treatment in Switzerland. Journal of Cancer Policy 33 (2022).

About MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme

At MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme, known as Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA in the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities. For more information, visit and connect with us on TwitterLinkedIn and YouTube.

MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme in Switzerland

In Switzerland, MSD Merck, Sharp & Dohme employs around 1,000 people at five sites in the cantons of Lucerne and Zurich. At our site in Zurich, in “The Circle”, we operate the newly opened global innovation and development hub. Our main therapeutic areas are oncology, infectious diseases, immunology, and diabetes. We also operate a broad portfolio of vaccines for the prevention of diseases in children, adolescents, and adults. Switzerland is part of MSD’s global clinical research program with more than 30 clinical trials annually. At our site in Schachen, we manufacture drugs for global clinical trials and operate a forensic laboratory. MSD also takes local responsibility for the community and has been involved in the “Trendtage Gesundheit Luzern” and the Alliance Health competence. In 2022, MSD received the “Top Employer Switzerland” award for the tenth time in a row.

For more information, please visit and follow us on TwitterLinkedInFacebook and YouTube.

Media department MSD Switzerland

Jean-Blaise Defago (Policy & Communications Director) | Tel. 058 618 30 30

Copyright © 2022 Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA and its affiliates. All rights reserved.


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