Prof. Zdenko Časar, PhD from Lek receives the Puh Award for outstanding achievements

  • Prof. Zdenko Časar, PhD has been  recognized for introducing a number of new scientific concepts, technologies  and innovations relating to the synthesis, analytics, polymorphism and  stability of active substances and drugs.   
  • In the past, Prof. Zdenko Časar,  PhD has received the Pregl Award for outstanding achievements, the Puh Award  for outstanding achievements, numerous gold awards from the Slovenian Chamber  of Commerce and Industry, and several top scientific awards from Sandoz and  Novartis for his research work.  
  • For years, Lek has been fostering a unique ecosystem of collaboration between business and academic and research institutions, contributing to the development of science, knowledge and applied solutions. 
16. 10. 2023

Prof. Zdenko Časar, PhD, Head of Early Stage Development at Lek, has been awarded the Puh Award for his outstanding work in the field of industrial pharmaceutics. It is the highest national award for scientific achievement, and Prof. Časar received it for introducing a number of new scientific concepts, technologies and innovations relating to the synthesis, analytics, polymorphism and stability of active substances and drugs.  

Since 2018, the Puh Award has been awarded by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation for outstanding achievements by an individual or group of individuals who have won recognition for their achievements and are of exceptional importance for the economic or social development of a particular field, region or country.

In the award's explanatory statement, the committee wrote that Prof. Zdenko Časar's new discoveries in the field of degradation mechanisms and polymorphism of active substances contribute to the understanding of their chemical and physical stability, as well as to a better prediction of their shelf-life. In recent years, he has been improving the analytics of medicines by introducing the principles of the development of embedded quality analytics. His paper, published in Chemical Science, a leading journal in the field of chemistry, is notable for presenting the simplest and shortest synthesis of active substances for cancer therapy. The publication, which was featured by the journal's editorial board, was also included last year among the Excellence in Science 2022 achievements in the field of pharmaceutics by the Slovenian Research and Innovation Agency. Prof. Časar has also made a significant contribution to the development of drugs for the treatment of diabetes and anemia, which have recently been launched on the market, and for which he has received three gold awards from the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for best innovation. During  the period under review, Prof. Časar published 25 original and six  peer-reviewed scientific articles, edited one scientific monograph published by  an international publisher and was granted 26 international patents in 13  patent families.

On receiving the award, Prof. Zdenko Časar, PhD who also passes on his industry knowledge and experience to students at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Ljubljana, commented: "The Puh Award is Slovenia's highest national prize for outstanding scientific achievement, and I am honored to have been selected by the committee as one of the recipients. The award also confirms the outstanding work of the Lek Development Center in recent years and is proof of the company's commitment to providing its associates with the best conditions for development work and fostering a creative atmosphere in which individual abilities can be developed to the fullest."

The award is also a testament to the strategic contribution of Lek researchers to the development operations in Slovenia and the fruitful collaboration between the company and academia. "Through strong partnerships with institutions over many years, we have been able to build an ecosystem within which we successfully collaborate in the development of science, knowledge and applied solutions. The award, which Prof. Časar deservedly received for his cutting-edge research work, confirms that together, business and research institutions can most effectively create economic progress and ensure a sustainable growth in social wellbeing. I am confident that with the new announced investments in Lek's development capabilities, we will continue to push the boundaries of the Slovenian scientific space," added Robert Ljoljo, President of the Lek Management Board and Sandoz Country President Slovenia.

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is the first and oldest 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 strong ethical standards, innovative thinking and the breakthrough achievements of our world-class professionals. With more than 3,700 associates, we have been actively shaping the Slovenian, European and global research and development landscape for decades. We are building a culture of open dialog, and we proudly and responsibly hold the title of most reputable employer in Slovenia.

Sandoz (SIX: SDZ; OTCQX: SDZNY) is the global leader in generic and biosimilar medicines, with a growth strategy driven by its Purpose: pioneering access for patients. 22,000 people of more than 100 nationalities work together to bring Sandoz medicines to some 500 million patients worldwide, generating substantial global healthcare savings and an even larger overall social impact. Its leading portfolio of more than 1,500 products addresses a wide range of diseases. With its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, Sandoz traces its heritage back to the year 1886. Its history of breakthroughs includes Calcium Sandoz in 1929, the world’s first oral penicillin in 1951, and the world’s first biosimilar in 2006. In 2022, Sandoz achieved sales of USD 9.1 billion and core EBITDA of USD 1.9 billion.

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This Media Release contains forward-looking statements,which offer no guarantee with regard to future performance. These statementsare made on the basis of management’s views and assumptions regarding futureevents and business performance at the time the statements are made. They aresubject to risks and uncertainties including, but not confined to, futureglobal economic conditions, exchange rates, legal provisions, marketconditions, activities by competitors and other factors outside of the controlof Sandoz. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize orshould underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual outcomes may varymaterially from those forecasted or expected. Each forward-looking statementspeaks only as of the date of the particular statement, and Sandoz undertakesno obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements,except as required by law.

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