Sandoz announces plans to build a Biosimilar Technical Development Center in Slovenia

  • Planned investment of approximately USD 90 million to build a state-of-the-art Sandoz Biosimilar Technical Development Center in Ljubljana, Slovenia by 2026
  • New end-to-end drug substance and drug product development center will be an important step in expanding Sandoz’  Biopharma Technical Development capabilities
  • Approximately 200 full-time associates to be hired in Slovenia
  • With this investment and the recently announced investment in production in Lendava, Lek, a Sandoz company, is establishing its own capabilities for development and production of biosimilars in Slovenia.
20. 7. 2023

Sandoz, a global leader in generic and biosimilar medicines, today announced an investment of approximately USD 90 million at its site in Ljubljana, Slovenia to establish a dedicated Sandoz Biopharma Development Center by 2026.

With this investment, the Lek’s Ljubljana site will become one of the key locations for biosimilar product development at Sandoz. The new investment will lead to the creation of approximately 200 new jobs and further strengthen the company's capabilities in end-to-end drug substance and drug product development of biosimilars.

The planned investment complements recently announced Sandoz plans to invest at least USD 400 million in a new biologics manufacturing plant in Lendava, as well as expanding its biosimilar development capabilities at its facility in Holzkirchen, Germany. It also builds on existing small molecule product development capabilities at Sandoz Development Center in Ljubljana, where Sandoz has successfully established comprehensive capabilities to develop technologically complex generic pharmaceuticals.

Claire  D'Abreu Hayling, Chief Scientific Officer, Sandoz, said: "The new Biosimilar Development Center in Ljubljana will build on these capabilities, helping Sandoz to meet rapidly rising global demand for biosimilars and to make an even more meaningful contribution to the long-term viability of healthcare systems around the world."

Robert  Ljoljo, President of the Management Board of Lek and Sandoz Country President  Slovenia added: ''Sandoz is sending a strong message by choosing Ljubljana as the site to expand its biosimilars development capabilities. Slovenia offers access to a pool of highly experienced and knowledgeable pharmaceutical professionals as well as ecosystem with academia and research institutions, all together contributing to Sandoz in achieving its ambition of developing high-quality biosimilars. We look forward to creating 200 new full-time jobs."

Slovenian scientists were among the pioneers in the field of biopharmaceuticals. Three decades ago, in the early 1990s, Lek Pharmaceuticals, in close collaboration with the Institute of Chemistry, started to work on recombinant technology, which is fundamental to biopharmaceuticals. Lek Pharmaceuticals subsequently made a significant contribution to Sandoz's global leadership in the biosimilars segment.

The new biosimilars development center, together with the existing Sandoz Development Center in Ljubljana, a leading development center for complex differentiated generics, where around a third of the associates have PhDs, will become one of Sandoz's key global development locations for generic and biosimilar development.

Biosimilars play a crucial role in the treatment and prevention of numerous debilitating and life-threatening conditions, including various types of cancer, psoriasis, and arthritis. They drive competition and cost savings, helping to address the escalating cost pressures faced by global healthcare systems.

Sandoz is committed to helping millions of patients by providing access to affordable safe and effective biologic medicines across a range of areas including immunology, oncology, supportive care and endocrinology. It has a leading global portfolio with eight marketed biosimilars and a further 24 molecules in various stages of development.

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Lek,a Sandoz company, is the first and longest-standing pharmaceutical company in Slovenia, developing, manufacturing and marketing effective, safe and high-quality generics and biosimilars for patients around the world. Our work is guided by high ethical standards, innovative thinking and breakthrough achievements by our world-class experts. With more than 3700 associates, we have been actively shaping the Slovenian, European and global R&D landscape for decades. We are building a culture of open dialogue and proudly and responsibly hold the title of Slovenia's most reputable employer. 

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 covers all major therapeutic areas.

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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
Corporate Affairs
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.
Telephone: 01 580 22 43