Ljerka Lah to join world's best students at the end of October at the global Novartis Biotechnology Leadership Camp (BioCamp) in Hong Kong

Slovenian young researcher one of two winners at Novartis European BioCamp

2. 9. 2008

Ljubljana, September 2, 2008 – At the Novartis BioCamp, which was held from August 28 to 30 in Basel, Switzerland, according to the expert panel of judges led by Head of Corporate Research at Novartis Prof. Paul Herrling, among the 45 students selected from leading European universities, the problem of how to transfer scientific knowledge into a business plan was best solved by Ljerka Lah from the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana and Florian Kowalke from ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). Both students will attend the global BioCamp, which will be held from October 24 to 27 this year in Hong Kong.

At the Novartis BioCamp, where students working together with top biotechnology professionals spent three days studying the latest trends in the field, the participants also had to develop a business plan.

The two winners were selected based on their contribution to their teams case study – specifically in the areas of teamwork, creativity, analytical thinking skills and leadership.

The assignment that the students received was how to start up a biotech company, i.e. how to turn a research achievement into a new product, and how to present it to a venture capital fund, i.e. how to attract investments.

(i)“The Novartis BioCamp was definitely a great experience for me, as the presentations by leaders from industry and research outlined an alternative career path which is probably a little more complicated and difficult in our country than in countries where starting up your own biotech company has longer tradition. At the same time, meeting a lot of young scientists and future entrepreneurs and working in teams on the assignment was also a lot of fun,”(/i) said (b)Ljerka Lah,(/b) who works as a young researcher in the Biosynthesis and Biotransformation Laboratory at the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana, where she is currently pursuing a doctorate in biomedicine; her work involves searching for antifungal active pharmaceutical ingredients used for treating fungal infections.

(b)Novartis BioCamp(/b) BioCamp is an innovative three-day seminar which offers students practical experience in the dynamic and fast-growing world of biotechnology. (i)“BioCamp is just one example of the Novartis commitment to supporting excellence in scientific education and innovation in research and development,”(/i) said (b)Dr. Daniel Vasella, CEO Novartis.(b) (i)“As part of our USD 6.4 billion investment in R&D, this program allows us to build connections between the biotech industry and up-and-coming talent from leading universities. We believe this fuels the ongoing interaction and fresh thinking required to develop new medicines.”(/i)

(b)Biopharmaceuticals at Lek(/b) Biopharmaceuticals is the most modern and fastest-growing branch of pharmacy. At Lek, in-house development of genetic technology began in the nineteen-eighties. Last year the Biopharmaceuticals Development Center was opened in Menges, which represents a major step into the future. To date, nearly 40 million euros have been invested in biotechnology at Lek, with the first phase of the Biopharmaceuticals Development Center in Menges accounting for almost 7 million euros, which was followed by investments in laboratory equipment for upgrading the pilot development capacities. The Biopharmaceuticals Development Center is also a significant recognition of Slovenian expertise. Lek is directly involved in Slovenian R&D activities in various fields and works closely with universities and research institutes.

* * *

Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of the pillars of leading world generics company Sandoz. It operates as a global development center for products and technologies, as a global manufacturing center for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines, as a competence center for the development of vertically integrated products, as a Sandoz competence center in the field of development and manufacturing of biosimilars and as a supply center for the markets of CEE, SEE and CIS, sales Slovenia and sales services for Sandoz global markets. Lek d.d. employs more than 3,000 people. For further information please consult http://www.lek.si.

Sandoz, a Division of the Novartis group, is a global leader in the field of generic pharmaceuticals, offering a wide array of high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by patents. Sandoz has a portfolio of more than 950 compounds and sells its products in more than 130 countries. Key product groups include antibiotics, treatments for central nervous system disorders, gastrointestinal medicines, cardiovascular treatments and hormone therapies. Sandoz develops, produces and markets these medicines along with pharmaceutical and biotechnological active substances and anti-infectives. In addition to strong organic growth in recent years, Sandoz has made a series of acquisitions including Lek (Slovenia), Sabex (Canada), Hexal (Germany) and EonLabs (US) In 2007, Sandoz employed around 23,000 people worldwide and posted sales of USD 7.2 billion.

Novartis AG provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on growth areas in healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2007, the Group’s continuing operations (excluding divestments in 2007) achieved net sales of USD 38.1 billion and net income of USD 6.5 billion. Approximately USD 6.4 billion was invested in R&D activities throughout
the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 98,200 full-time associates and operate in over 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.

* * *

This press release contains statements and conclusions based on projections of Lek’s future business operations. These estimates are derived from the best information currently available. In case these forecasts prove unreliable, the actual results could prove different from those projected.

- end -

For further information contact:

Katarina Klemenc Dinjaški

Corporate Communications

Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.

Phone: + 386 1 580 22 43

Fax: + 386 1 580 24 32