In celebration of its landmark year, Novartis in Slovenia contributed EUR 100,000 to Slovenian universities and the fight against cancer

  • This year, Novartis in  Slovenia celebrates three important anniversaries – 75 years of Lek, 25 years  of Novartis and 15 years of biosimilars.
  • In celebration of its  anniversaries, it supported new research projects of Slovenian universities  with funds in the amount of EUR 75,000 and allocated an additional EUR 25,000  for projects for the prevention of cancer and improving the health of oncology  patients.
  • The anniversaries were marked with a gala event in which the  company honored its rich tradition of co-creating progress in the  pharmaceutical industry and reaffirmed its commitment to finding new and more  affordable treatment options for patients. 
8. 12. 2021

Novartis in Slovenia celebrates 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 experts at Sandoz, now a division of Novartis. In honor of the anniversaries, Novartis in Slovenia organized an event in which it commemorated years of knowledge, experience and pioneering work in numerous areas and looked to the future of finding breakthrough solutions for patients.

The keynote speaker at the event, which took place at the Herman Potočnik Noordung Center of Space Technologies in Vitanje, was Borut Pahor, the President of the Republic of Slovenia. In his address, he emphasized:

“What you have today was not created overnight. Your company is so old that it was once called a ‘medicinal products factory’. At the same time, it is so modern that new terms need to be invented for today’s designations. Since the very beginnings of Lek up until today, when you play at the global level, you have been taking care of the environment in which you were born and in which you work.”

At the event honoring the 75th anniversary of Lek, the company contributed EUR 75,000 to the University of Ljubljana, the University of Maribor and the University of Primorska for the development and implementation of new research projects by interdisciplinary teams of Novartis experts and scientists from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maribor and Faculty of Mathematics, Natural Sciences and Information Technologies at the University of Primorska. Open innovation of mixed research groups is a common practice of Novartis in Slovenia, and breakthrough solutions arising from cooperation between the academic and economic spheres have been repeatedly awarded the highest recognitions at the national level.

“At Novartis in Slovenia, we are proud of our close ties with Slovenian scientific and academic institutions. Our achievements are the result of cooperation within the Slovenian scientific sphere. We realize that it is not possible to possess all the specialized knowledge within the company; the key to breakthrough innovations lies in collaborating with external experts. That is the only way to effectively fulfill our mission of co-creating medicine to improve and prolong the lives of people around the world. The funds dedicated to Slovenian public universities reflect our desire to successfully and productively cooperate with the Slovenian academic community in the future as well. The flow of knowledge and scientific discoveries between the academic sphere, scientific and research sphere and the economic sphere goes mainly through people, and I believe that history is written when the greatest scientific minds of a particular field work together towards a common goal,” said Robert Ljoljo, President of the Board of Management of Lek and Novartis Country President.

On the occasion of Novartis 25th anniversary, Novartis will donate EUR 25,000 for cancer prevention and to improve the health of oncology patients. Part of the funds will be donated to the Association of Slovenian Cancer Societies for the purchase of a state-of-the-art digital video-colposcope for the identification of pre-cancerous cervical lesions for the Slovenj Gradec General Hospital. This will contribute to 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.

* The  Federation of Slovenian Cancer Associations is the oldest and most important  cancer prevention organization among NGOs, with 11 regional associations.  Slovenian cancer society was founded on April 6, 1970 on the initiative of  Prof. Dr. Božena Ravnihar, the long-standing Director of the Ljubljana Oncology  Institute.  In 1984, the regional  associations joined together to form the Federation of Slovenian Cancer  Associations, whose mission is to contribute to the creation of a Slovenian  society in which no one will get cancer or die of cancer because of their own  ignorance or because of the indifference of the state. Federation acts in the  public interest for all citizens, whether members or not, and have the status of  a humanitarian organization.

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Novartis  is the leading provider of medicines in Slovenia, where Lek d.d., Novartis Pharma Services Inc., Podružnica v Sloveniji and Sandoz d.d., operate. Together we are building and maintaining the reputation of a dynamic, ethical, and trusted pharmaceutical company. Lekdevelops, 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 DrugDevelopment, 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 nine years, the company has created more than 3,350 new job opportunities, making us one of the biggest employers in Slovenia. Novartis invested in Slovenia more than EUR 2.7 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 2020 sales ofUSD 9.6 billion.

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 product sreach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 140nationalities work at Novartis around the world.
  Find out more at

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This press release contains statements and forecasts of future business operations.The forecasts include estimates based on all the information currently available to us. Should these forecasts prove unreliable, the actual results of business operations could be different from those expected.

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For further information, please contact:
Gregor Makuc
Communication and External Affairs
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.
Telephone: 01 580 22 43