Welcome to Novartis in Slovenia

The mission of Novartis is to discover new ways to improve and extend people`s lives. In Slovenia, we develop, manufacture and market effective, safe, high-quality medicines, from modern biological and innovative medicines to generic medicines. With advanced therapies, we reimagine medicine and are the largest provider of medicines on the domestic market. With all its divisions, Novartis in Slovenia is the largest Slovenian healthcare partner.

Cornerstones of our success

Through our experience, expertise and quality we represent an important part of 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. Our strategic priorities are unbossed employees, innovation, operational excellence, data and digital technology, and building trust with society.

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. We are delivering the Novartis strategy: to become focused medicines company powered by technology leadership in R&D, word-class commercialization, global access and data science. 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 more than 3 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. With continuous investments, Novartis consolidates its presence in Slovenia, builds a stimulating, competitive and supportive working environment and strengthens its role as a catalyst for the development of the pharmaceutical industry in Slovenia. Numerous investments in strengthening development and production capacities in the direction of greater digitization and automation support the successful transition of Novartis in Slovenia from a generic to a more innovative pharmaceutical company. We are becoming an important member of the global market for innovative medicines, biological and generic medicines with high added value.

Lek within Novartis

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

We merge our more than 75 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, Customer & Technology Solutions 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 some of the key Novartis innovative medicines.
  • 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.
  • We provide standardized high-quality services for the Novartis manufacturing network around the world.

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. We are the only industrial center for modern biotechnology in Slovenia. With our achievements in the development of innovative biological and biosimilar medicines, we represent an important 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. Our scientists and research and development teams regularly achieve outstanding scientific and business achievements and are holders of Novartis highest awards for breakthrough solutions in the development and manufacture of demanding innovative and generic medicines.

We play an important role also in the Novartis generic division Sandoz. We are the leading, largest and best-equipped Sandoz Development Center that carries out half of all Sandoz development projects, 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.

In Slovenia, we have established one of the two Novartis global operations centers that provide standardized global services in logistics and supply chain management, engineering, production technology and quality control for the Novartis manufacturing network across the world.

We live quality at every step

Quality is embedded in our daily work, shown by trust and respect for employees, patients and business partner and the wider environment in which we operate. 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. Through research breakthroughs and innovation, we create new and more accessible treatment options for patients around the world.
  • 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. Responsible business practice is the common guiding principle of our business strategy.

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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 are building focused medicines company powered by technology leadership in R&D, word-class commercialization, global access and data science. Innovation marks all areas of our operation.

Decades of experience and professional know-how are incorporated in the medicines we make. We ennoble and connect them with our values. Our investment in development is extensive and continuous. Our production is subject to strict international quality standards. We are inspired and motivated by Novartis mission – to discover new ways to improve and extend people`s lives.

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:

  • Inspired: We engage those around us. We strive for our patients. We live our mission.
  • Curious: We learn. We are open. We are aware of our abilities.
  • Unbossed: We create clarity. We serve others. We take ownership for our action.
  • Integrity: We are sincere. We have the courage. We do what is right.

We build an unbossed, curious and inspiring culture based on integrity and fostering diversity. We provide a safe and inclusive work environment in which all associates feel accepted. This is prerequisite for successful and committed associates wanting to contribute to the achievement of common goals.

Our sites across Slovenia

The acquisition of knowledge and innovation are the driving force of all our sites. New investments enable us to expand our development and production capacities. Team mentality, supporting each other within a culture of inclusion and diversity help make everyone feel welcome and accepted. Our achievements are co-created by more than 5,500 associates at four sites across Slovenia: in Ljubljana, Lendava, Mengeš and Prevalje. We operate in two development centers (for generic and biological medicines) and seven production centers (for generic and innovative medicines).The development and manufacture of active pharmaceuticals ingredients and medicines is carried out according to strict international standards. These ensure equality, safety and efficacy of our products and apply to the entire Novartis.

Novartis in Slovenia incorporates four areas of operation::

 Ljubljana Mengeš PrevaljeLendava

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

In Ljubljana, more than 3,270 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 Slovenia, we annually develop on average 20 new medicines with a new drug substance, pharmaceutical form or for a new market.

Ljubljana is also a headquarter of the Global Operations Center that provides standardized high-quality services for the Novartis manufacturing network around the world.

Since 2012, we have filed dossiers for more than 140 new products. Solids Ljubljana have a broad range of products comprising more than 160 different product families for the generic market as well as for Novartis innovative medicines with around 75 different active pharmaceutical ingredients.

We manufacture granulates, tablets, capsules, film-coated tablets, capsules with pellets, capsules with granulates, sugar-coated tablets, and micro-pellets 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, including the most demanding markets such as the USA, Russia and Japan.

At the Aseptics Ljubljana, we use more than 30 active ingredients to produce around 70 different products and 500 finished products filled in sterile ampoules and vials for markets around the globe.

We also manufacture non-aseptic solutions, nasal sprays and syrups. Recently, we launched our first biosimilar product in the form of a liquid vial, making an important step towards the medicine of the future. We are the Novartis center of excellence for ampoules and Sandoz center of excellence for lyophilized powders stored in vials.

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 1,260 employees are involved in the remarkable development and successful performance of the site.

 At the Chemical Operations Mengeš active pharmaceutical ingredients for Novartis innovative and selected generic drug substances with high added value are manufactured. State-of-the-art production facilities enable the production of the most technologically demanding active ingredients.

The Mengeš site is the only 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. At the Mengeš site, we produce for the market two Sandoz biosimilar drug substances and a number of innovative and biosimilar drug substances for clinical use. 

Mengeš is also a centre for analytical services: testing of raw materials, active ingredients and finished products for many of Novartis biotech and aseptic sites. With the knowledge and innovation of our associates, we enable Slovenian patients the treatment with eight biosimilar products and thus contribute to greater access to modern biological medicines.

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

In the heart of the Pomurje region, more than 710 associates at our Lendava site have achieved numerous successes. At the site, the production of anti-infectives and packaging of finished pharmaceutical dosage forms is carried out. The market demand for potassium clavulanate, the active ingredient in the broad-spectrum antibiotic Amoxiclav, is growing, and the production capacity in Lendava is growing accordingly. Amoxiclav is our leading product.

The location is distinctly multicultural, as it employs associates of three nationalities: Slovenian, Hungarian and Croatian.

Being the largest solid pharmaceutical packaging plant in Novartis, Solids Lendava is of strategic importance to Novartis. In 2021, we packaged nearly seven billion tablets and capsules for patients in more than 120 countries around the world, with more than 4,000 finished product codes. The production plant manufactures both innovative and generic medicines from tablets and capsules from several Novartis plants around the world and third-party suppliers. With 26 packaging lines and more than 500 employees, we are one of the major and reliable suppliers of Novartis innovative and generic medicines in solid pharmaceutical dosage forms.

In addition, we are implementing several important innovation initiatives for automation, digitization and innovative packaging, thus meeting the expectations of even greater competitiveness and operational excellence of the unit in the coming years. We expand the accessibility of treatment with innovative medicines by finding new, innovative solutions that generate time, material and transport savings, and reduce our environmental footprint.

Prevalje – From a Small town to more than 80 Global Markets

More than 220 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. In total, more than seven billion broad-spectrum antibiotic tablets have been manufactured to date. The employees also perform complete analytics and releasing of products on the market, as well as all other production support functions.

The site is currently undergoing a transformation process.

Our Employees are at the Heart of Everything We Do

Novartis is one of the largest employers in Slovenia. It employs more than 5,500 full-time employees and we are constantly increasing this number. We create an open culture of cooperation and a competitive and stimulating work environment. We foster an innovative spirit and out-of-the-box-thinking.

In line with Novartis' strategy of diversity and inclusion, we respect and promote the cultural, ethnic and sexual diversity of our employees. Almost half of our leadership positions are held by women. We obtained the LGBT friendly company certificate, which is awarded by the City of Ljubljana. We appreciate accepting everyone at every turn.

We are aware that development and progress are only possible with motivated employees, therefore we create a positive and safe work environment. With constant investments, we create the conditions for new, advanced forms of work with activity based work, which follow Novartis' efforts to continuously improve the work environment. According to Novartis' Choice of Responsibility model, employees have the opportunity to decide how, where and when they will perform their work, depending on the nature of their work, and they can also choose remote working. With new ways of working, Novartis improves collaboration, flexibility and efficiency, but continues to put employee safety first.

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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. Our operations are based on strong values, talent management is one of our priority areas, and with an unbossed culture we enable the associates to fully unleash their talents and creativity. 

We are guided and connected by inspiration, curiosity, empowerment and integrity. With the unbossed culture, we are embarking on a new path based on collaboration, listening, learning and sharing.

We actively focus on investing in the development and long-term support of young talented students and researchers. For many years we have been proactive in searching for talents and experts and carrying out internationally established HR projects. Our Novartis Career Breakfast project presents an innovative human resource incentive to entice Slovenian experts who are working or studying abroad to return to Slovenia. Since our first career breakfast in 2016, we have hosted more than 550 top experts. 40 have been employed by Novartis in Slovenia.

With the top scientific event BioCamp, we have been showing support for development and innovation and care for the development of young talents for eleven years. The unique forum brings together top students with renowned experts and leading managers from Lek, Sandoz and Novartis. We open the doors of our company to young experts, undergraduate and postgraduate students, and offer them an insight into the pharmaceutical industry and entrepreneurship. In eleven years, the event connected  more than 350 young talents, of whom more than 45 have been employed by Novartis to date. 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.

Empowerment, curiosity and continuous development are part of our organizational culture. Through informal mentoring programs, the onboarding of new employees and the nature of our work, we foster cooperation and knowledge transfer between associates from different generations, disciplines, as well as different cultures (working in international project teams). 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 recorded more than 25,900 ideas generated by our associates to date. In Slovenia, from April 2012 to December 2020, we submitted 7,196 ideas, of which 3,620 were implemented. In total, this generated EUR 59.2 million indirect benefit. We granted special recognition to employees who contributed and put into practice the most innovative ideas and solutions. 

In the Company of the Most Reputable Employers

We are the first and only pharmaceutical company in Slovenia credited with the prestigious international Top Employer certificate, which demonstrates the organization’s commitment to a better working environment. We are the only Slovenian company that has received this certificate at the national as well as at the European and global level. According to the Top Employer survey, we are ranked at the very top of the world’s best companies.

We also received the most reputable employer title. We are a three-time recipient of the Golden Practice award (Regional BioCamp, Novartis Career Breakfast and Young Advisory Board), bestowed as part of the Golden Thread project by the Slovenian media company Dnevnik. For the Novartis Career Breakfast, we received the recognition for the best human resources practice among large companies, presented by Planet GV.

We are aware that our associates can only grow if we offer them new knowledge and new skills. On average, 4,550 associates of Novartis in Slovenia take part annually in at least one form of upgrading their knowledge and skills or training; on average, they receive more than 310,000 hours of education in total.

On the Slovenian labor market, we are a three-time recipient of the most reputable employer title based on a survey by the recruitment portal Mojedelo.com, which recognizes our efforts to build an encouraging and high-quality working environment. We have received the full Family Friendly Company certificate four times in a row. Lek, which is part of Novartis, has been participating in the Family-Friendly initiative since the very beginning of the project, proving its commitment to creating a work environment that is friendly to employees and their families.

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,  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.

We successfully participated in the four-year European consortium project “Development of a new protein isolation process for biopharmaceutical purposes (nextBioPharmDSP)” in which we developed and introduced 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. The project was prepared together with six other partners and was selected for co-financing by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 European Research and Innovation Program, the largest research and innovation program in the EU. In 2020, the Ljubljana University Incubator (LUI) in cooperation with EIT Health and Novartis in Slovenia, organized the second Slovenian Hackaton Innovation Day. The event with 96 participants took place virtually in light of the re-aggravation of the situation due to COVID-19. Competitors sought solutions to promote healthy living by changing behaviors, and the pharmaceutical challenge they faced was presented by Novartis in Slovenia. This is another way in which Novartis in Slovenia strengthens its connection with academia.

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);
  • Three awards for innovative and efficient human resource practice in Slovenia within the Golden Thread project:
    • Golden Practice 2020 for the Young Advisory Board 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
    • Golden Practice 2013 for the Regional BioCamp project;