Lek receives two golden innovation awards

  • On the occasion of this year’s Innovation Day, the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry bestowed on Lek two golden national awards for innovation.  
  • The awards were received for LinComplex™: a new generation of a high quality dietary supplement, and an innovative continuous and integrated process for purification of biopharmaceuticals on a production scale.
  • Over 17 years, since the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry began bestowing national innovation awards, Lek’s experts have receive in total 11 golden awards.
26. 9. 2019

Today, the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry bestowed national awards for the best innovations of the year. Lek received two out of eighth golden awards at the national level, for the dietary supplement LinComplexTM and for the continuous and integrated process for the purification of biopharmaceuticals. 

The first of the two gold awards went to LinComplexTM, a new generation of high quality dietary supplements with the best researched strain Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG. The product was developed in the Development Center Slovenia based on long-term experience and in-depth knowledge of products containing lactic acid bacteria. The innovation team included Gaj Stavber, PhD, Klemen Naveršnik, PhD, Melita Hribar, PhD, Katja Berginc, PhD, Nina Malešič, MSc, Dušan Gašperlin and Nataša Tanšek, MSc.

» Innovative approaches in the development of products with lactic acid bacteria bring us a significant competitive advantage. I believe that with LinComplexTM we managed to take a new step forward in development and outline important guidelines for the future. We are leaders in this area and I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all those who helped develop this product. With this, the Linex brand is further strengthening its leading role in a number of markets in Central and Eastern Europe. Also very important when working on such projects is the cross-functional cooperation so we can build a joint success story,«  said Gaj Stavber, PhD, Head of Development Projects at the Development Center Slovenia, who led the development team.

The second golden award went to the innovative continuous and integrated process for purification of biopharmaceuticals. The authors have succeeded in achieving a significant reduction in the otherwise high production costs of these modern and very effective medicines. Development team members were Gorazd Hribar, PhD, Dejan Arzenšek, PhD, Helena Trnovec, Barbara Jeras, Linda Hribar Guštin, Jure Mohorič, Dominik Kert, Tibor Doles, Nebojša Furlan, MSc, Maja Jelenc, Tomaž Novak and Roberta Tomaš.

»At the moment, biologics are still not easily accessible for many patients around the world, due to the very complex and expensive production which runs through a series of individual steps. As part of the consortium project »Development of a new protein isolation process for biopharmaceutical purposes« (nextBioPharmDSP), we have developed a new continues and integrated process for purification of biopharmaceuticals on a production scale. By establishing continuous product isolation with efficient elimination of impurities and viruses and integration of advanced analytical tools, we achieved further cost reduction and increased productivity,« said Gorazd Hribar, PhD, Head of Technology Transfers at Drug Substance Bioproduction Mengeš.

Innovation and development are at the heart of Novartis’ operation both globally as well as in Slovenia. Slovenian teams are involved in development and production phases of many breakthrough Novartis’ projects. »The environment in which the pharmaceutical industry operates, is changing at an intense and rapid pace. Successful companies will be those which are agile and focus their resources on taking a leading position in research, advanced technology and cutting-edge therapies. Novartis is on a path to becoming a leading global pharmaceutical company driven by data and digitisation. I am proud that also Slovenian scientists play an important role in this development,« said Robert Ljoljo, President of the Board of Management of Lek and Novartis Country President Slovenia. 

The innovation awards bestowed by the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry are the highest national recognition for innovative accomplishments of Slovenian companies. Since 2002, when the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry began to bestow national innovation awards, Lek’s experts received in total 11 golden awards.

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Novartis is the leading provider of medicines in Slovenia, where Lek, Novartis Pharma Services and Sandoz, operate. Together we are building and maintaining the reputation of a dynamic, ethical, and trusted pharmaceutical company. Lek develops, manufactures, and markets effective, safe, and high quality medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients. With our knowledge, quality, and experience we have gained an important role in Novartis' organizational structure, especially in the Novartis Technical Operations, Global Drug Development, Novartis Business Services, and the generic division Sandoz. We are the leading Sandoz development center, and one of the key development sites for technologically complex projects. We invest a great deal in the development, education, and training of our employees. Over the last seven years, the company has created more than 2,250 jobs, making us one of the biggest employers in Slovenia. Novartis invested in Slovenia more than EUR 2.3 billion since 2003. 

About Sandoz
Sandoz, a Novartis division, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars and a pioneer in the emerging field of prescription digital therapeutics. Our purpose is to pioneer access to healthcare by developing and commercializing novel, affordable approaches that address unmet medical need. Our broad portfolio of high-quality medicines, covering all major therapeutic areas and increasingly focused on value-adding differentiated medicines, accounted for 2018 sales of USD 9.9 billion. Sandoz is headquartered in Holzkirchen, in Germany’s Greater Munich area.

Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @SandozGlobal at http://twitter.com/Sandoz_Global.

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 750 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 108 thousand people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at www.novartis.com. 

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This press release contains statements and conclusions based on projections of Lek’s future business operations. These estimates are derived from the best information currently available. In case these forecasts prove unreliable, the actual results could prove different from those projected.

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For additional information contact:
Katarina Klemenc
Corporate Communications 
Lek Pharmaceuticals d. d.
Phone: +386 1 580 22 43
Fax: +386 1 580 24 32