Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals Opens New Cellular and Molecular Biology Laboratory in Mengeš

New investment will strengthen Sandoz Slovenia‘s role as an integral part of the company’s biosimilars development and production network.

8. 10. 2012

Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals, the global leader in biosimilars, opened a new laboratory for cellular and molecular biology at its development Center in Mengeš, Slovenia. The laboratories will help Sandoz scientists at Mengeš strengthen their capabilities and further contribute to the fulfillment of Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals’ mission – to broaden patient access to advanced biological medicines. With this new investment, Novartis will have invested a total of nearly 54 million Euros in development, research and production of biopharmaceuticals in Slovenia, a clear demonstration of the company’s confidence in, and commitment to its Slovenian sites.

The Department for Cellular and Molecular biology in Mengeš plays a critical role in the development of mammalian cell lines for production of recombinant proteins and their genetic characterization. “Over the last several years, the biopharmaceuticals site in Mengeš site has been instrumental in driving Sandoz’s commercial success and in building its pipeline, said Dr Matjaž Oven, Head Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš. “The new cell and molecular biology facility will strengthen our ability to support the continued development of Sandoz’s industry-leading pipeline of biosimilars.”

Biosimilars are already generating savings

Biologics are an increasingly indispensable part of modern medicine, but their high costs and increasing demand are impacting patient access. Biosimilars, pioneered by Sandoz, make these vital medicines accessible to more people as they offer comparable quality, safety and efficacy to their reference products, at a more affordable price. All three Sandoz biosimilars are also available to patients in Slovenia.

The introduction of biosimilars has already led to significant savings in the EU. The latest study by IGES Institute “Saving money in the European healthcare systems with biosimilars“1 showed that by 2020, eight countries in the European Union2 could save a cumulative total of between EUR 11.8 billion and 33.4 billion through the use of biosimilar medicines.

1 “Saving money in the European healthcare systems with biosimilars“, by Robert Haustein, Christoph de Millas, Ariane Hoeer, Bertram Haeussler. IGES. Berlin, December 6, 2011.

2 Following countries were subject of the study: Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Poland and Romania.

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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 2011, Sandoz employed more than 24,000 people (full-time equivalents) worldwide and achieved net sales of USD 9.5 billion for the full year. For more information, please visit
Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Sandoz_global at

Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2011, the Group’s continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 58.6 billion, while approximately USD 9.6 billion (USD 9.2 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges) was invested in R&D throughout the Group. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 124,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit
Novartis is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Novartis at

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