A year of record high investments by Novartis in Slovenia paved by innovation and digitalization

  • Novartis in Slovenia has achieved its 2022 business objectives through innovation in processes and development, digitalization and the successful introduction of future technologies into its operations.
  • It has been an exceptional year for the company, with historically high investments of EUR 346 million, including the construction of an aseptic production facility in Ljubljana and the establishment of the TRD Biologics Center in Mengeš.
  • The title of Slovenia's most reputable employer was recently complemented by the prestigious international "Top Employer" certificate. At the end of the year, the company had more than 5,800 full-time employees.
1. 2. 2023

Novartis in Slovenia, which includes Lek d.d., Sandoz d.d. and Novartis Pharma Services Inc., Podružnica v Sloveniji has maintained its leading position on the Slovenian pharmaceutical market despite the difficult economic situation. At the same time, the company has consolidated its role as an attractive investment location, reaching a record investment value of EUR 346 million in 2022. Novartis in Slovenia had more than 5,800 full-time employees at the end of the year, an increase of almost 7% compared to the previous year.

Record investment values  provide a solid foundation for the future

In 2022, intensive investment continued to increase production capacity and to renew existing production capacity to achieve higher productivity, to adapt to market and regulatory needs and to secure new development capacity. The investment of EUR 346 million is the result of outstanding performance and agility, excellent process quality and effective management of the sustainability aspects of the business. The investments are an excellent foundation for Novartis and Sandoz's future operations:

  • Construction has started on a new aseptic production facility in Ljubljana, which will be used for the production of aseptic vial and syringe products.
  • Announcement of a USD 110 million investment in the construction of a new TRD Biologics Center in Mengeš, which will provide new development capabilities, including clinical manufacturing to support early phase clinical trials.
  • A large part of the investment has been aimed at strengthening development and production capacities towards greater digitalization and automation, as well as modernizing and upgrading existing capacities.
  • Investments in environmental sustainability amounted to EUR 10.5 million, the most in a decade.

Slovenian researchers pioneer  innovation and use of advanced technology

With their knowledge and innovation, researchers at the Slovenia Development Center and the Mengeš TRD Biologics Center are successfully competing with the major global players, including in the rate of adoption and application of new advanced technologies in automation, robotics and machine learning. They provide technologically sophisticated, patient-tailored medicines with high added value for key markets: 

  • The Slovenia Development Center filed 26 marketing authorization applications in the key markets of the US, Europe, Canada, Russia, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Mexico and Turkey, and launched 21 generic medicines for the treatment of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, glaucoma and pulmonary fibrosis in the US, Europe, Canada, Japan, Brazil, China, South Korea and Australia.
  • In 2022, Mengeš TRD Biologics had around 30 development projects underway, almost half of which were for innovative biologics.

Production sites have ensured  a smooth supply of medicines despite challenging market conditions

Given the uncertain geopolitical situation and the energy and economic crisis, Novartis in Slovenia in 2022 devoted a lot of time to mitigating the effects of external factors, finding internal reserves, implementing the latest technologies, using energy even more efficiently, taking organizational measures and actively monitoring and adapting its operations. In doing so, they have succeeded in providing patients around the world with a seamless supply of high-quality, effective and safe medicines. In 2022, the company continued to transform its manufacturing sites and strengthen the production of complex generic and innovative medicines with high added value. In 2022, Novartis in Slovenia launched 800 new products (83 different molecules) in more than 80 countries around the world. 64 innovative medicines were produced and packaged at manufacturing sites in Slovenia.

Novartis in Slovenia  maintained its leading position in the Slovenian pharmaceutical market with a  14% market share.

  • Lek strengthened its position as the second largest company on the generics market with a 29% market share. They strengthened their market position as the second largest provider of prescription medicines and maintained their market leadership in the OTC and dietary supplements market, the generic anti-infective market and the biosimilars market.
  • In 2022, Novartis Pharma and Novartis Oncology operated under the joint unit Innovative Medicines Slovenia, which is the largest provider of innovative medicines in Slovenia with a market share of almost 10%.

  • In less than a year since launch, more than 300 patients have received the breakthrough drug inclisiran (Leqvio) for the treatment of elevated LDL cholesterol, and more than 130 patients with multiple sclerosis have received ofatumomab (Kesimpta).
  • Slovenian patients can also benefit from the most advanced cell and gene therapies. In 2022, five patients received CAR-T therapy for blood cancers and two patients received gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy.
  • The first Novartis website for breast cancer patients and their caregivers in Slovenia, rakdojk.si, was launched.

  • Sandoz d.d. delivered a strong performance in 2022, with net sales growth of 5% compared to the previous year. It launched 122 new products to patients around the world. Its medicines reached more than 50 million patients in nearly 70 countries around the world – in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Slovenia's most reputable  employer and another "Top Employer" certificate

Novartis in Slovenia is creating a supportive and psychologically safe work environment where the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion apply. The creation of a modern working environment was again supported in the past year by investments in advanced ways of working, digitalization and smart solutions.

  • In 2022, the number of employees increased by 374, ending the year with a total of more than 5,800 full-time employees.
  • For the third year in a row, and for the fourth time in total, they were awarded the title of the most reputable employer in Slovenia according to the participants in the employer reputation measurement of the employment portal MojeDelo.com.
  • Once again, for the third year in a row, HR excellence was recognized by the independent Top Employers Institute and Novartis in Slovenia was awarded the prestigious international "Top Employer" certificate for the best employer at both Slovenian and European level.
  • All four pillars of the strategy (People with Disabilities, LGBTQI+ Community, Intergenerational Cooperation and Diverse Talent) have made important steps towards a more inclusive and diverse organization. Among other things, they have adapted several sites for people with disabilities and have been awarded the Disability Friendly Company title, as well as joining the Dementia Friendly Network.

High investment in  environmental sustainability and improvement in most indicators

Due to price pressures on energy products and the expansion of the portfolio of energy-intensive, high value added medicines, both in development and production, the focus of the past year has been on solutions to enhance the energy efficiency of processes and technologies, and Novartis in Slovenia invested EUR 10.5 million in environmental sustainability last year, the most in a decade.

  • Despite the expansion of the complex development and production of high value added medicines, energy consumption was almost one percent lower and water consumption only half a percent higher, thanks to investments, extensive measures and improvements.
  • Various projects and changes in production have continued to reduce the amount of waste generated and have resulted in a 1.5% reduction in total waste and a 4.5% reduction in waste solvents alone at company level in 2022. The first small-scale solar power plant, the second in the past year at Novartis sites in Slovenia, has been commissioned at the Ljubljana site.
  • As the only pharmaceutical company in Slovenia and the only company of its size, the company successfully passed the ISO 14001/EMAS recertification audit for environmentally responsible business management and once again met the requirements of the environmental standard and the ISO 45001 occupational health and safety management system.

Excellence in development, production  and staffing recognized with numerous awards and accolades

  • Scientists from the Slovenia Development Center and TRD Biologics Mengeš have received top national and international awards:

  • At the PHARM Connect Congress, the largest business meeting of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies from Central and Eastern Europe, the Slovenia Development Center received the 7th SEE Award for Excellence in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing.
  • The Slovenia Development Center received the gold award and TRD Biologics Mengeš received the silver national award for innovative achievements, awarded by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia.
  • Researchers from the Slovenia Development Center and TRD Biologics Mengeš received ten Sandoz Science Awards, including two Scientific Excellence Awards for Matjaž Vogelsang from the TRD Biologics Mengeš and Ivana Gazić Smilović from the Slovenia Development Center.

  • The DS Bioproduction Mengeš unit was awarded the flattering title of Factory of the Year by the Finance newspaper.
  • The project Industry and University – Together We Build Society of Knowledge and Prosperity, implemented jointly with the Ljubljana University Incubator and the University of Ljubljana, has been awarded the "Best of the Best" award for best business practice by the American Chamber of Slovenia.
  • Novartis in Slovenia also has some of the best HR practices in the country Two practices of Novartis in Slovenia were among the five finalists for the award for the best HR practice, which is presented by the Faculty of Organizational Sciences of the University of Maribor and the MojeDelo.com website.
  • For creating a supportive, inclusive and curious environment for associates of all generations, they received the MEGA Inspiration 2022 award, part of the We All Win When We Work Together project, co-funded by the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and the European Social Fund.
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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 Operations,Global Drug Development 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 3.4 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 2022 sales of USD 9.2 billion.

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. We deliver high-value medicines that alleviate society’s greatest disease burdens through technology leadership in R&D and novel access approaches. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. About 106,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work together to bring Novartis products to nearly 800million people around the world. Find out more at https://www.novartis.com.

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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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Forfurther information, please contact:
Gregor Makuc
Corporate Affairs
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.
Telephone: 01 580 22 43