Researchers from Lek, a Sandoz company, receive Golden Innovation Award

22. 5. 2013

The Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIS) – the Chamber of the Region of Central Slovenia, presented the awards for innovation at the 6th Challenges of Economic Development 2103 event, prepared in cooperation with the Slovenian Association for Project Management. The Golden Innovation Award was presented to innovators and researchers from Lek, a Sandoz company, Dr Gaj Stavber, researcher at API Development, and Dr Zdenko Časar, global Head of API Portfolio Management at Sandoz.

Dr Gaj Stavber and Dr Zdenko Časar received the Golden Innovation Award for the discovery and development of a simple, efficient, economical and especially environment friendly catalytic system for ß-borylation of a wide range of organic molecules. With this discovery and development, the researchers are gaining new insights and establishing guidelines towards »greener« and more sustainable methodologies in organic chemistry, especially in the field of borylation of organic compounds. The key to and high value of the innovation lies within the fact that its authors were the first in the world to discover the catalytic system for asymmetric ß-borylation of organic molecules in a water medium. “This acknowledgement is confirmation that we create and think in the right direction, often in a completely different and more modern way than the competition. We are pleased that the CCIS and others recognised this and awarded this excellence with a Golden Award. We will build on this knowledge with even greater motivation,” said Dr Gaj Stavber and Dr Zdenko Časar upon receiving the award.

The innovation was successfully protected with two international patent applications and the findings were presented to a wider scientific-research community by publication in Applied Organomettalic Chemistry (Appl. Organometal. Chem. 2013, 27, 159–165.), a renowned international scientific journal for applied chemistry.

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of key pillars of the second-largest generic pharmaceutical company globally. Its role within Sandoz is to act as: a leading 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, the generic pharmaceuticals division of Novartis, is a global leader in the rapidly growing generics industry. Sandoz offers a broad range of about 1, 100 high-quality, affordable products that are no longer protected by patents. With nearly 26,000 employees in approximately 140 countries, Sandoz holds the #1 position globally in biosimilars, injectables, ophthalmics and dermatology as well as a strong global #5 position in inhalables. 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), Eon Labs (US), EBEWE Pharma (Austria), Oriel Therapeutics (US), and Fougera Pharmaceuticals (US). In 2012, Sandoz posted sales of USD 8.7 billion. For more information, please visit

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 2012, the Group achieved net sales of USD 56.7 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.3 billion (USD 9.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 128,000 full-time-equivalent 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 additional information contact:
Katarina Klemenc
Corporate Communications
Lek Pharmaceuticals d. d.
Phone: +386 1 580 22 43
Fax: +386 1 580 24 32