Top scientific event – Regional BioCamp 2011

First Regional BioCamp for 35 young scientists from the Alpe-Adria region

17. 3. 2011

Lek, a Sandoz company, will host 35 of the best and most promising undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate science students from the Alpe-Adria region in Ljubljana from May 29 to 31. Together with experts from Lek, Sandoz and Novartis they will have the opportunity to participate in a first-rate scientific and business event. In addition to new knowledge and exchanges of experience, the competition part of the first Regional BioCamp will undoubtedly be of interest to the participants. The top two will earn a spot at Novartis’ now-annual International BioCamp 2011, which will be held in Basel, Switzerland at the end of August.

The Regional BioCamp 2011 is a three-day forum at which a selection of the best students will meet with already renowned experts and leading managers in the pharmaceutical industry. The basic principle of the event is to give the best and most promising undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate science students from the Alpe-Adria region a direct insight into the world of research and the international business environment of the pharmaceutical industry.

“We chose to hold a Regional BioCamp because the foundation of our work is development, which together with knowledge and innovation creates the company’s development character, since we are one of the most important development centers in Sandoz on a global scale and develop medicines for all global markets, as well as, because we are aware of the importance of the exchange of knowledge and experience for young professionals. On this basis we have begun to search for advanced forms of interaction with young people, and we recognized Novartis’ BioCamp as an example of best practice. Slovene students have been participating in this event successfully for a few years, and their recognition and response have been excellent. One of them was a winner of this international event”, said Dr. Darja Ferčej Temeljotov, Head of Continuous Improvement at Sandoz’s Development Center Slovenia and Chair of the Organizational Committee for Regional BioCamp 2011.

During the 3-day program the participants will learn about developments in the generic pharmaceuticals industry and their influence on the academic and business worlds. They will study the scientific and business aspects of the development of pharmaceutical products and obtain insights into global experiences in the field of the development of biosimilar medicines and synthetic biology. They will also learn about how to start up a biotech company and the opportunities for the development of a career in the pharmaceuticals industry, and tour the Sandoz Development Centers in Slovenia. Dr. Zdenko Časar, Head of the Organic Synthesis Department and Chair of the Science Committee for Regional BioCamp 2011, adds: “We have also prepared a competition for the participants at the Regional BioCamp. They will have to perform a case study of “How to develop and launch a pharmaceutical product”. The competition element of the Regional BioCamp is important, since the participants will actually be trying to transfer the knowledge they have gained into practical work.”

Dr. Roman Jerala, Head of the Biotechnology Laboratory at the National Institute of Chemistry, professor at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana, and Head of the Synthetic Biology research area at the EN-FIST Center of Excellence, one of Slovenia’s most important researchers and an internationally renowned expert in the field of synthetic biology, believes that the Regional BioCamp is an exceptionally welcome opportunity for young professionals. In his opinion it will build on the existing cooperation and make it possible to take a step forward in the development of cooperation between business and science, which is important for the well-being of the entire society.

New knowledge will be obtained at the first Regional BioCamp by a total of 35 participants – undergraduates (final year), master’s, doctoral and post-doctoral candidates from science faculties in the region, which includes Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Austria (Graz), Italy (Trieste) and Slovenia. A 5-member committee of Lek professionals and managers will select the 35 participants from among 138 applicants (half from Slovenia and half from other countries of the region) on the basis of their professional and academic achievements, project and work experience and extracurricular activities.

BioCamp was first held in Taiwan in 2004 and then developed into an international forum aimed at the best students in science and business. It is designed in order to exchange ideas and participate in teamwork in a fast and competitive business environment. In previous years BioCamps have also been held in other countries and regions, such as the USA, India, Egypt and Italy. “In the last seven years the Novartis BioCamp has offered an insight into the biopharmaceutical industry and entrepreneurship to more than 600 of the best students around the world. This year we are holding a Regional BioCamp for the first time, and we hope that it will become an annual top scientific event”, said Katarina Klemenc, Head of Corporate Communication at Lek.

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of the pillars of leading world generics company Sandoz. Its role within Sandoz is to act as: a global development center for products and technologies; a global manufacturing center for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines; a competence center for the development of vertically integrated products; a Sandoz competence center in the field of development and manufacturing of biosimilar products; and, a supply center for the markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), South East Europe (SEE) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and it is responsible for sales on the Slovenian market. For further information please visit

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 valid and enforceable third-party patents. Sandoz has a portfolio of approximately 1000 compounds and sells its products in about 130 countries. Key product groups include cardiovascular medicines, anti-infectives, treatments for central nervous system and alimentary tract disorders, oncology and respiratory therapies, as well as medications for blood and blood forming organ disorders. Sandoz develops, produces and markets these medicines along with pharmaceutical and biotechnological active substances. In addition to strong organic growth in recent years, Sandoz has made a series of acquisitions including Lek (Slovenia), Sabex (Canada), Hexal (Germany), Eon Labs (US), EBEWE Pharma (Austria), and Oriel Therapeutics (US). In 2010, Sandoz employed more than 23,000 people (full-time equivalents) worldwide and achieved net sales of USD 8,5 billion for the full year.

Novartis provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, diagnostic tools and consumer health products. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2010, the Group’s continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 50.6 billion, while approximately USD 9.1 billion (USD 8.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges) was invested in R&D throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 119,000 full-time-equivalent associates (including 16,700 Alcon associates) and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

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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.

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For further information contact:
Katarina Klemenc
Corporate Communications
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d.
Phone: + 386 1 580 22 43
Fax: + 386 1 580 24 32