First regional BioCamp in the Alpe-Adria region – excellent opportunity for top students to meet science and business

30. 5. 2011

From May 29 to 31, Lek, a Sandoz company, is hosting 35 select top undergraduate and graduate science students from the Alpe-Adria region, who will be meeting with distinguished experts and top managers from across Sandoz and Novartis. The event confirms the Group’s commitment to development as well as to the sharing of knowledge and experiences with young professionals. Participants of this first regional BioCamp in Slovenia were welcomed by the Chancellor of the University of Ljubljana, Dr. Stanislav Radovan Pejovnik, and President of the Lek Management Board, Vojmir Urlep.

“I believe that this regional BioCamp, organized by Sandoz here in Slovenia, provides a unique opportunity to hear from leading experts in the scientific field, while getting to know new colleagues and building important new relationships,” said University of Ljubljana Chancellor Dr. Radovan Stanislav Pejovnik.

Vojmir Urlep, President of the Lek Management Board, discussed the current state of the global generic pharmaceuticals industry with the BioCamp participants, who have come from Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Austria and Italy. He commented on the increasing consolidation of the industry in recent years, and how already in 2010 only three pharmaceutical companies held 25% of the global market: Teva (12%), Sandoz (8%) and Mylan (5%). “In the coming years, the healthcare field will continue to face two key trends: lowering healthcare costs in OECD countries and increasing access to medicines in developing countries. These trends will lead to continued growth of the global generics industry and particularly in developing markets,” said Urlep.

Prof. Dr. Uroš Urleb, Chief Scientific Officer at Sandoz, further presented key development trends in the generics industry. He explained how development is one of the key drivers of the industry’s success and progress as well as its role at Sandoz, the pioneer and global leader in biosimilars and complex, differentiated generic medicines. He also clearly defined the role that Slovenian knowledge has played in achieving these successes: “Sandoz’s development centers in Slovenia play a key development role within the Sandoz global network. A significant portion of the company’s development projects are carried out in Slovenia, and include some of the company’s most technologically demanding. For example, one of Sandoz’s three main biopharmaceuticals development and production centers is in Mengeš. None of this would be possible without the long-term close collaboration with Slovenian scientific institutions and universities.”

Dr. Mark A. McCamish, Global Head of Biopharmaceutical Development at Sandoz, spoke about his experiences in the field of biosimilars development, while leading Novartis scientist Dr. Murat Acemoglu discussed new findings in efficient enantioselective synthesis. Dr. Roman Jerala, one of Slovenia’s top researchers and internationally recognized experts, who holds the positions of Head of the Biotechnology Laboratory at the Slovenian National Institute of Chemistry, Professor at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana, and Director of Research in Synthetic Biology at the EN-FIST Center of Excellence, next spoke to participants about the most recent achievements in synthetic biology.

Dr. Jerala is also a key advocate of the need for high-quality and efficient cooperation between academia and the business world, such as represented by the regional BioCamp.
Prof. Dr. Irena Mlinarič-Raščan, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Ljubljana, highlighted the importance of knowledge in the overall development of society, drawing upon her many experiences in various international projects focused on promoting cooperation between science and business, as well as the field of international student cooperation. Dr. Enej Kuščer, Director of the Acies Bio company, ended the morning section of the first day, by talking about his experiences in founding a biotech company.

During the second day of the regional BioCamp 2011 program, participants will have an opportunity to enter a competition with a case study on “how to develop and launch a pharmaceutical product”, after which they will tour Sandoz’s development centers in Ljubljana and Mengeš, and learn about career development opportunities. The latter will be presented by Samo Roš, Head of Human Resources and member of the Lek Management Board, and Dr. Janja Lukša, Head of Sandoz Development Center Austria.

“Sandoz in Slovenia takes its corporate citizenship seriously. While providing top Slovenian professionals with challenging employment opportunities at home, we also allow them to develop their careers internationally within a global company. At the same time, we also attract industry leading foreign professionals here in Slovenia”, said Dr. Lukša. Samo Roš added: “After meeting each of the participants this morning, and seeing their response and participation in the program, it is clear that we have gathered a group of truly promising young professionals, whom we should definitely expect to read about in the future.”

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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