Novartis in Slovenia Anniversaries

In 2021, Novartis in Slovenia is celebrating 75 years since the founding of Lek, the first modern pharmaceutical company in Slovenia, 25 years of Novartis, and 15 years since the approval of the first biosimilar developed by the experts at Sandoz, a Novartis division.

Lek – the first and oldest modern pharmaceutical company in Slovenia.

Lek was founded as the first and oldest pharmaceutical company in Slovenia on October 31, 1946. For 75 years, the company has been shaping the currents of development in the global pharmaceutical industry, while continuously growing and evolving, today as an important part of Novartis. Our rich history is marked by the company's extraordinary involvement in Slovenia's scientific and research space and has been written by thousands of creators, both inside and outside the company's walls. We have built Novartis in Slovenia on a solid foundation of knowledge, courage and care for our fellow man, which is the thread of the story of one of the largest economic entities in Slovenia.

Anniversary event with €100,000 for Slovenian universities and the fight against cancer

At the end of 2021, to celebrate our three anniversaries, Novartis in Slovenia supported new research projects at Slovenian universities with funds in the amount of €75,000 and allocated an additional €25,000 for cancer prevention and improving the health of cancer patients.

The beneficiaries are the University of Ljubljana, the University of Maribor and the University of Primorska. The funds are intended for the development and implementation of new research projects, which will be created in cooperation between interdisciplinary teams of Novartis experts and scientists, and researchers from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Ljubljana, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maribor and the Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies at the University of Primorska.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Novartis, we also donated €25,000 for cancer prevention and improving the health of oncology patients. Part of the funds went to the Association of Slovenian Cancer Societies for the purchase of a state-of-the-art digital video colposcope for the identification of cervical precancerous lesions, for the Slovenj Gradec General Hospital. This is our contribution towards improving women's health in Carinthia and the surrounding regions. A part of the funds is earmarked for improving the health of oncology patients from all over Slovenia who come to Ljubljana for treatment.

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25 years of Novartis – more than 250 years of innovation

On March 7, 1996, two Swiss pharmaceutical companies – Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz – merged in the largest merger in the history of the pharmaceutical industry at the time. Novartis was born with a vision to accelerate innovation and establish an even stronger position in global markets. The heritage of Novartis dates back more than 250 years and, built on a rich history of innovation in a number of breakthrough products, today it looks optimistically to the future as one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies.

15 years of biosimilars

In 2006, scientists from Sandoz, the generic division of Novartis, presented the world's first biosimilar to the world. Biosimilars make an outstanding contribution to healthcare, by increasing access to cutting-edge medicines and therapies, and contributing to the sustainability of health systems. Slovenia is home to one of the most important Novartis sites for the development of biologics, Mengeš, which is also the first industrial center for the modern production of innovative biologics and biosimilars in Slovenia.