Sandoz Research and Development Days present Slovenian experts with ten scientific awards

  • Once a year, Sandoz recognizes its researchers for their outstanding contribution to research and development and to increasing access to high-quality medicines.
  • Associates from Sandoz Development Center Slovenia and Technical Research & Development Biologics Mengeš received 10 Sandoz Research & Development Awards, including two Scientific Excellence Awards.
  • Slovenian researchers are consolidating their position as leading experts in the development of biologics, biosimilars and generics in the global society. 
30. 11. 2022

Sandoz, a leading global company in generics and biosimilars crowned its scientists with prestigious awards during the Research and Development Days. Among the 18 awards, researchers from the Sandoz Development Center Slovenia and TRD Biologics Mengeš received ten scientific awards, including two of the highest awards for scientific excellence. They also won five awards for best posters.

"We are extremely proud that Slovenian experts have been awarded the prestigious Sandoz R&D Awards for many years, and this year we won more than half of all the prizes. In this rapidly growing and technologically sophisticated pharmaceutical industry, agility and innovation are key. The same goes for our associates, who have time and again demonstrated their excellence and kept up with the times – including the latest technological approaches, digitization and data science," said Matjaž Tršek, Head Sandoz Development Center Slovenia. 

Every year, Sandoz awards the best researchers with years of outstanding achievements in research and development. This year, the award for scientific excellence went to Matjaž Vogelsang from TRD Biologics Mengeš and Ivana Gazić Smilović from the Sandoz Development Center Slovenia:

  • Matjaž Vogelsang from TRD Biologics Mengeš was awarded for introducing new paradigms, techniques and approaches in the field of cell line development and genetic/genomic characterization of cell lines for the production of biologics, as well as for innovative characterization of cell and gene therapy products using next-generation sequencing. Together with his team, he has made a significant contribution to increasing the productivity of cell lines for the production of biologics and was the first in the industry to develop a GMP-compliant method for the release of raw materials for the production of gene therapies based on next-generation sequencing technology.
  • Ivana Gazić Smilović from Sandoz Development Center Slovenia made a significant contribution to the successful completion of the physicochemical characterization studies for a complex injectable product. With her excellent scientific approach, she identified the appropriate orthogonal analytical techniques that were used to characterize the drug substance and drug product, leading to the demonstration of comparability with the reference product. Her in-depth knowledge of new techniques and commitment ensured the timely execution of the studies and proved instrumental in the regulatory acceptance of Sandoz's generic product in the EU.

Researchers and research teams from Sandoz Development Center Slovenia and TRD Biologics Mengeš also received awards for innovative breakthroughs in analytics and technology, the Clinical Study Excellence Award, the Breakthrough in  Operational Excellence Award, the Outstanding  Supporting Role Award, the Rising Star Award, Inspirational Leader Award, and the Cultural Ambassador  of the Year.

As noted by Špela Jalen, Site Head TRD Biologics Mengešthese awards are not a matter of course, but are the result of exceptional knowledge and experience. "Our development teams have been achieving truly enviable successes at the international level for many years and have deservedly been recognized for breakthrough solutions in the development and manufacture of complex innovative and generic medicines. These achievements are the result of a lot of hard work, team spirit, motivation and sacrifice, for which I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all our associates," added Špela Jalen. 

Congratulations to all the winners!

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Novartis is the leading provider of medicines in Slovenia, where Lek d.d.,Novartis Pharma Services Inc. and Sandoz d.d., 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 inNovartis' organizational structure, especially in the Novartis TechnicalOperations, 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. Novartis invested in Slovenia more than EUR 3 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 2021 sales of USD 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 products reach nearly 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 108,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world.
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For further information, please contact:
Gregor Makuc
Communication & External Engagement
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.
Telephone: 01 580 22 43