Welcome to Novartis Slovenia

The mission of Novartis is to discover new ways to improve and extend people`s lives.

We use  science-based innovation to address some of society’s most challenging healthcare issues.  We discover and develop breakthrough treatments and find new ways to deliver them to as many people as possible. We strive to change the practice of medicine. We aspire to approach things differently – to make discoveries that take medicine in new directions. We look to tomorrow for inspiration today.  Never satisfied with the status quo, we imagine what’s next. We are passionate about what we do and the impact we have on patients and societies. We are Novartis and we are reimagining medicine.

Cornerstones of our success

Through our knowledge, quality and experience, we have gained an important role within Novartis. We allocate significant funds to research and development which are the basis of our work. We believe in the increasing importance of science based innovation that open up new ways to advanced medicines and increase the accessibility of treatment.

On our journey towards new discoveries, we connect with scientific research organizations in Slovenia and abroad. The cornerstone of our success is our knowledge, innovation, courage and care for people.

Novartis in Slovenia

Novartis is the leading provider of medicines in Slovenia operating through Lek, Novartis Pharma Services and Sandoz. Together we build and maintain our reputation as a dynamic, ethical and trusted pharmaceutical company. Find out more 

Novartis continues its investments in Slovenia which have exceeded 2 billion Euros since 2003. More than half of these funds have been dedicated to development and the rest to modernization and expansion of our production capacities.

Lek within Novartis

Lek is an important part of an international pharmaceutical company Novartis.

We merge our more than 70 years of experience, knowledge and achievements in developing and producing high quality pharmaceutical products with Novartis’ organizational units around the world. Find out more

We are a Slovenian, European and global pharmaceutical company, people centered and future oriented.

We develop, manufacture and market effective, safe and high-quality medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients.

We are integrated in Novartis’ organizational structure, primarily in Global Drug Development, Novartis Technical Operations, Novartis Business Services and generic division Sandoz. We take care of business functions and services for the wider region.

Our role within Novartis:

  • At Lek, we develop original biologic and biosimilars as well as generic medicines.
  • We manufacture biosimilars and effective generics, namely aseptics and solid dosage forms as well as anti-infectives.
  • We manufacture high-quality active pharmaceutical ingredients for generic and biologic medicines.
  • We manage complex Sandoz development projects.
  • We pack and distribute medicines.
  • We market medicines in the domestic and global market.

Our success grows from knowledge.

We invest heavily in the development, education and training of our employees. For decades, we have been actively co-creating the Slovenian research and development environment. We cooperate with Slovenian Universities and Centers of Excellence. We successfully link business and science.

Through our achievements in developing biologic and biosimilars, we have become a part of Novartis’ Global drug development. Together, we move boundaries and expand access to treatment of difficult-to-treat diseases.

The expertise and competences of our associates have positioned us among the key Novartis global production centers for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines.

We play an important role also in the Novartis generic division Sandoz. We are a leading Sandoz Development Center and one of the key development sites for technologically demanding projects. We are proud to be leading the introduction of Sandoz products to global markets. A number of successful innovative projects are the result of our knowledge and experience.

We live quality at every step.

Quality is embedded in our daily work, shown by trust and respect of employees, patients and business partner. For many years, it has been recognized by successful audits of regulatory authorities from countries around the world.

High quality standards are met in all work processes, in development and production of medicines as well as market supply with our highly qualified and experienced experts playing a key role.

We are a socially responsible company.

We believe that business success and corporate responsibility are inextricably linked.

  • We strive to increase access to healthcare services and medicines and raise awareness about the importance of health.
  • We are a responsible and ethical employer caring for the welfare of the wider community.
  • We adopt a preventative approach, strive to make efficient use of natural resources and minimize our impact on the environment.
  • We comply with the highest standards of ethical business conduct.

Find out more

We share a common vision

Patients are in the center of everything we do.

We pursue Novartis’ common vision: daily improving access to high-quality medicines around the world to help secure treatment for people in need. We are committed to making health care available to all.

As part of Novartis, we would like to lead the pharmaceutical industry by setting new quality standards. Our innovation ranges from new drug delivery systems to highly complex biosimilar products.

Decades of experience and professional know-how are incorporated in the medicines we make. Our investments in development are extensive. Our production is subject to strict international quality standards.

Our values

Our culture is based on strong values. They help us carry out our mission and vision, choose our associates, develop talents and celebrate achievements.

We are guided and connected by:

  • Innovation
  • Quality
  • Collaboration
  • Performance
  • Courage
  • Integrity

Our solutions reflect our innovation. To achieve excellence we put quality into everything we do. High-performing inclusive and diverse teams are closely connected and work in collaboration. The orientation towards work performance helps us in decision-making processes and implementation of ideas. Adopting a courageous mindset drives us to speak up, give and receive feedback. By being committed to integrity, we pursue high ethical standards and apply them in our daily work.



Our sites across Slovenia

At all our sites, we grow with the development of knowledge and innovation. New investments allow us to expand development and production capacity. Our sites are built on a strong team spirit, solidarity, and cultural specifics that make everyone who comes to visit our four pillars feel welcome and accepted.

More than 3,880 employees at four sites across Slovenia help create our success: in Ljubljana, Lendava, Mengeš and Prevalje. Over the last six years, more than 1,800 new associates have joined us.

The development and manufacture of active pharmaceuticals ingredients and medicines is carried out according to strict international standards. These ensure quality, safety and efficacy of our products and apply to the entire Novartis.

Integration of Lek’s sites into Novartis divisions and organizational units:

 Ljubljana Mengeš PrevaljeLendava

Ljubljana – In the Heart of Slovenia, in the Core of a Global Pharmaceutical Map

In Ljubljana, more than 2 070 associates create a success story here at the headquarters of Lek and Novartis Pharma Services. In addition to the production of finished dosage forms and other important functions, the site also operates as the leading Sandoz development center. In 2017, the Development Center Slovenia completed the development of, and filed 17 drug products dossiers for the markets in the USA, EU, Russia, Canada, Australia, Mexico, and China, and three dossiers for active pharmaceutical ingredients in the demanding US market and Canada. Since 2012, we have filed dossiers for more than 100 new products.

Solids Ljubljana have a broad range of products comprising more than 160 different technological forms with around 100 different active pharmaceutical ingredients.

We manufacture granulates, tablets, capsules, film-coated tablets, capsules with pellets, capsules with granulates, sugar-coated tablets, and micropellets which are then packed into blisters, plastic bottles, glass bottles, and sachets. We have more than 3 000 finished products that are present in around 100 markets.

At the Aseptics Ljubljana, we use more than 45 active ingredients to produce around 70 different products and 500 finished products filled in sterile ampoules and vials for a wide range of markets around the globe.

We also manufacture nasal sprays. Recently, we launched our first biosimilar product in the form of a liquid vial, making an important step towards the medicine of the future.


Mengeš – Our Oldest Site and the Cradle of Biopharmaceuticals in Slovenia

The Mengeš site is one of the key development and production sites for the most demanding Sandoz generic products and Novartis innovative products. More than 1 050 employees are involved in the remarkable development of the site’s operation.

At the Chemical Operations Mengeš, the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients for Novartis innovative and Sandoz generic medicines is carried out.  From 2016, the Mengeš site has been manufacturing technologically demanding active pharmaceutical ingredients for Novartis innovative medicine. This has been an important milestone, as with this we brought an innovative pharmaceutical industry to Slovenia. At the site, the production of finished dosage forms (probiotic) is also carried out.

The Mengeš site is the industrial center for modern biotechnology in Slovenia and one of the most important Novartis sites for the development and production of biologic and biosimilar medicines.

Sandoz is a pioneer and global leader in biosimilars. One of the Sandoz biosimilars (epoetin alfa) is manufactured in Mengeš.


Lendava – In a Corner of Slovenia, at the Core of Development

In the heart of the Pomurje region, more than 480 associates at our Lendava site have tallied numerous successes, proving that even such a small town can generate world-class achievements. At the site, the production of anti-infectives is carried out. Every year we increase the production of potassium clavulanate, an active ingredient of our leading product – the broad-spectrum antibiotic Amoxiclav.

The site also operates as a strategic packaging center of Novartis Technical Operations that supplies the European and global markets with medicines manufactured and supplied from Novartis production plants around the world.  We are proud that in 2017 we established a new, technologically extremely demanding packaging line for originator products.

Since the opening in 2009, the production volume has been continuously growing, with an average annual growth rate exceeding 35 per cent. Up until 2017, the packaging center for solid dosage forms had dispatched a total of 280 million packaging units.


Prevalje – From a Small town to more than 70 Global Markets

More than 260 employees at our Prevalje site are responsible for the manufacture of Amoxiclav, one of the leading Sandoz products globally.

The manufacture of a broad-spectrum antibiotic in Prevalje has been ongoing since 1988; annually we make more than half a million tablets.

In total, more than five billion broad-spectrum antibiotic tablets have been manufactured in Prevalje to date. Apart from manufacture, the employees also perform complete analytics and releasing of products on the market, as well as all other production support functions.

We recently launched an innovative form of dispersible tablets for pediatric use that is more user-friendly.



Our Employees are at the Heart of Everything We Do

We foster an innovative spirit and out-of-the-box-thinking. We value diversity and inclusion, and acceptance of everyone, at every step. We are aware that development and progress are only possible with motivated employees, therefore we create a positive and safe work environment.

Our Associates are our Future

We strongly encourage achievements of our employees. Every year, Novartis Slovenia bestows “Star” awards, recognizing those individuals whose work is particularly outstanding. We have also created an internal talent program. For 20 selected individuals who have shown outstanding potential and high performance, we prepare events where they have an opportunity to gain insight into the experience and knowledge of established leaders.

With the Novartis Career Breakfast program, we present an innovative HR initiative focusing on enticing Slovenian experts to return to their home environment. In 2018, the event attracted more than 50 highly educated experts working or studying abroad.

We organize a forum that brings together the most talented students with distinguished experts and top managers from Lek, Sandoz, and Novartis – at the Regional BioCamp. We open the door of our company to young experts, undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate science students, and foster their gaining insight into the world of research and the business environment within the pharmaceutical industry.

We cooperate with universities, student organizations, and career-centers, regularly presenting the trends in the pharmaceutical industry and employment opportunities for young experts at faculties and in companies. Every year we offer work experience to more than 100 pupils and natural science students, including those from abroad. After completing their studies, many of them continue their career path in our company.

Accepting and integrating diversity is part of our organization culture. Our older associates spontaneously assume the role of mentors transferring knowledge to younger colleagues through daily contact at work on scheduled tasks. Simultaneously, “reverse mentoring” is also provided in the form of continuous updating, especially IT skills, where younger associates pass on their skills to their older colleagues.

Innovation is our way of thinking and operating, it’s part of our daily effort towards continuous improvement of processes and products, for operational excellence and efficiency. The Th!nk Novartis initiative, a program for online management of ideas and innovations, has to date recorded already more than 13 000 ideas. Slovenia has contributed more than 5 200 over a period of five years; all implemented ideas coming from our employees, helping generate more than EUR 36 million in savings in Slovenia.

In the Company of the Most Reputable Employers

We have been twice recipients of the Golden Practice Award (Regional BioCamp and Novartis Career Breakfast), bestowed by the Slovenian media company Dnevnik, who is the organizer of the media-research project, The Golden Thread. For our Novartis Career Breakfast we also received an award for the best human resources practice among large companies, bestowed by Planet GV.

We create responsible jobs and continuously increase the number of employees. In 2017, we created 410 new jobs.

We are aware that our associates can only grow if we offer them new knowledge and new skills. In 2016, 3 502 Lek employees took part in at least one form of upgrading their knowledge and skills or training;  in total they received approximately 173 162 hours of education.

As part of the “Want to Come” and “Leader+” programs, we organize workshops for all employees and heads, where – in a less formal environment – we address interesting topics and learn together, both for work and life. With informal mentorship programs, onboarding of new associates, and the nature of our work, we foster cooperation and knowledge transfer between associates from different generations, different disciplines, as well as different cultures (working in international project teams).

On the Slovenian labour market, we have been placed, for the fifth time in a row, among the most reputable employers in Slovenia based on a survey by the recruitment portal Mojedelo.com, which recognizes our efforts to build an encouraging and high-quality working environment. In 2017, we were ranked just below the very top of the Most Attractive Employer survey that involved the 100 largest companies in terms of number of employees and total revenues.  The research is carried out by the companies Competo and Stratkom.



In Partnership with Professional Organizations

We are closely integrated into the Slovenian research and development environment, and our achievements are the result of joint efforts of the Slovenian scientific community. Companies and research institutions are our natural partners in the development of knowledge, basic skills, and applied solutions; together we create economic progress and provide a sustained growth of social well-being.

Our partners in Slovenia are: The Faculty of Pharmacy, the National Institute of Chemistry, the National Institute of Biology, the Jožef Stefan Institute, the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, the Medical Faculty, the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, the Biotechnical Faculty, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, and others.

We participate in a number of national and international programs in collaboration with research institutions and other companies, including in the program »New Generation of Biologics« (BioPharm.Si) that is co-financed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports and the European Fund for Regional Development. Lek is a strategic partner in the program and our role is focused on the development of high-tech solutions for faster, cost-efficient and safer manufacture of biological drug substances. We enable the consortium partners in the project to test prototypes in the industry environment, provide advice and guide other partners in the planning and development of new technologies, products and services towards the needs of the biopharmaceutical industry.

In 2019, we successfully concluded a four-year European consortium project “Next-generation biopharmaceutical downstream process, under which we have developed and implemented a highly productive, cost-effective and environmentally friendly process for the purification of monoclonal antibodies. The project was organized together with six other partners and was selected to receive funding by the European Commission within the European Framework Program for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020, the biggest research and innovation program in the EU.

Successful development work is confirmed by numerous awards and acknowledgements for our experts for exceptional and sustainable scientific  and business achievements both within Sandoz and Novartis, and in the wider social environment, including at the national level:

  • Two Golden National Innovation Awards 2019 bestowed by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – over the past 17 years since the first national innovation awards were presented, we have received 11 golden awards;
  • Golden National Innovation Award 2017 bestowed by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce;
  • Pregl Award 2016 – Zdenko Časar, PhD, Development Center Slovenia;
  • Puh Award 2014 – a team of researchers from Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš in cooperation with their colleagues from the National Institute of Chemistry;
  • Acknowledgement to Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš for a long-term successful cooperation in research and professional work (Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana);
  • Plaque for longstanding cooperation in practical training of students (Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology of the University of Ljubljana);
  • Two awards within the Golden Thread project for selection of the best employer in Slovenia:
    • Golden Practice 2013 for the Regional BioCamp project;
    • Golden Practice 2016 for the Novartis Career Breakfast that was also awarded as the best human resource practice among large companies at the HR & M management conference in November 2017.Prevalje Lendava