Lek, which is part of Novartis, once again receives the highest national recognition for innovative achievements

  • On  the occasion of this year’s Innovation Day, the Chamber of Commerce and  Industry of Slovenia awarded Lek, which is part of Novartis, a golden national  innovation award.
  • Lek received  the award for the development of a new generic medicine with tacrolimus in the  form of prolonged-release capsules, intended for the treatment of organ  transplant patients.
  • Over 18 years, since the Chamber of Commerce and  Industry of Slovenia has been presenting national awards for innovation, Lek  experts have received a total of more than 10 golden innovation awards.
1. 12. 2020

On the occasion of this year’s Innovation Day, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia presented national awards for innovation. The awards for the best innovations at the national level are the highest recognition for innovative achievements ofSlovenian companies. As one of the best innovations they once again recognized an innovation from Lek, a capsule drug with tacrolimus, intended for immunosuppressive treatment of patients with transplanted organs.

Patients with transplanted organs must receive appropriate medication for the rest of their lives so that the body does not reject the new organ. The exact dosage of the medicine is extremely important, so the experts at Lek developed the first two-milligram capsule with the active substance tacrolimus with prolonged release on the market, which together with four generic strengths enables simpler and more accurate dosing of the drug. »The development and production of generic medicines requires a lot of innovation, especially in the design and development of new processes and methods. We had to introduce quite a few innovations in this medicine with tacrolimus, from the introduction of a robust work process without exposing operators to the drug substance, to new analytical methods and complex packaging to ensure the appropriate quality of the medicine. I am proud that the entire process, from development to production and packaging of the medicine, takes place in Slovenia, whereby we have combined the knowledge and experience of many colleagues from various fields,« Tanja Vilfan, Head Development Projects at Development center Slovenia, describes the demanding process. Through bioequivalence studies involving approximately 650 volunteers, Lek showed that their new generic medicine is comparable to the innovator's medicine.

The associates of Novartis in Slovenia are aware that in the pharmaceutical industry, innovations that bring breakthrough medicines and products, and those that increase patients’ access to modern medicines, are of increasing importance. “The ability to achieve new milestones in innovation is the result of Novartis’ trust in our knowledge and experience, which is also reflected in many new investments in development and production in Slovenia. Together with other units around the world, we are on an evolving journey to become the world’s leading pharmaceutical company in the field of advanced technologies and digitization. Caring for patients and enabling modern, safe and effective treatment remains at the very core of our work. This was also the main guiding principle in the development of a new generic medicine for the many patients with organ transplants around the world,” said Robert Ljoljo, President of the Board of Management of Lek and Novartis Country President Slovenia.

Since 2002, when the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia began awarding the highest national awards for innovative achievements, Lek experts have received more than 10 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 eight years, the company has created more than 2,700 jobs, making us one of the biggest employers in Slovenia. Novartis invested in Slovenia more than EUR 2.5 billion since 2003.

About Sandoz
Sandoz, a Novartis division, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars. Our purpose is to pioneer access for patients by developing and commercializing novel, affordable approaches that address unmet medical needs. Our ambition is to be the world’s leading and most valued generics company. Our broad portfolio of high-quality medicines, covering all major therapeutic areas, accounted for 2019 sales of USD 9.7 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 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 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