A new development field and new jobs at Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš in Lek, a Sandoz company

  • With the investment, worth a good 10 million Euros, Lek, a Sandoz company, gained an additional development role. Apart from active ingredients for biosimilars, final dosage form for biosimilars will now be developed, as well.
  • The global market and the need for biologicals has been continuously growing, therefore Lek, a Sandoz company, with its advanced technology and cutting edge knowledge, has vast potential for further development in biopharma business.
  • With the new development field and new laboratory facility, 100 new jobs have been created.
21. 1. 2016

Today, Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš, a key pillar of Sandoz and Novartis biopharmaceuticals, officially opened new laboratories for the development of final dosage form for biosimilars, quality control and biopharmaceuticals technical development. With the investment, worth a good 10 million Euros, the site gained an additional development role. Apart from active ingredients for biosimilars, final dosage form for biosimilars will now be developed there, as well.

»The global market and the need for biologics have been continuously growing, therefore Lek, a Sandoz company, and thus Slovenia, with its cutting-edge technology and advanced knowledge, has vast potential for further development in biopharma business«, stressed Matjaž Oven, Site Head Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš.

In total, Novartis has invested more than 64 million Euros in development as well as production at Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš.

Jobs and high value-added knowledge

»We have exceptionally strong biotechnology talent in Slovenia involved in almost every aspect of biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing,” said Carol Lynch, Global Head of Biopharmaceuticals and Oncology Injectables at Sandoz. “The addition of development of final dosage form for biosimilars further reinforces Mengeš’s role as an important centre of biotechnology excellence for Sandoz and Novartis.«

Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš employs more than 350 experts. 80 percent of those have a university degree or higher, as many as 34 percent hold a master’s degree or a doctorate in science. Lek, a Sandoz company, therefore provides jobs for local experts who have, being part of a global pharmaceutical company, an invaluable opportunity to work at home and at the same time gain experience and knowledge from around the world.

Biosimilars provide better access to healthcare

Biopharmaceuticals are the latest and the fastest growing segment of the pharmaceutical industry offering new options for the treatment of a number of complex diseases. Biologics are very costly due to the demanding and high cost research and development. Biosimilars are approved versions of original biological medicinal products once their patent protection expires. Biosimilar products match their reference products in terms of quality, safety and efficacy, however they are more affordable and accessible to more people.

Sandoz is the pioneer and global leader in biosimilars. It has an industry leading pipeline including monoclonal antibodies, the largest and fastest-growing part of the global biologics market. Sandoz now has a number of biosimilars molecules in various stages of development and has announced its intent to make ten regulatory submissions between 2015 and 2017.

The first biosimilars in the USA

An important milestone in the development of biosimilars is the entry on the US market. In 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Sandoz’ biosimilar filgrastim, the first biosimilar ever launched in the USA.

Sandoz was also the first pharmaceutical company to launch a biosimilar (growth hormone) in the European and Japanese markets. Sandoz markets three biosimilars in the EU and other parts of the world (growth hormone, erythropoietin alpha, filgrastim). All three products are also available to patients in Slovenia.

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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 technologically demanding 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 http://www.lek.si/en.

Sandoz, a division of Novartis, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals, driving sustainable access to high-quality healthcare. Sandoz employs more than 26,000 people worldwide and supplies a broad range of affordable products to patients and customers around the globe.
The Sandoz global portfolio comprises approximately 1,100 molecules, which accounted for 2014 sales of USD 9.6 billion. Sandoz holds the global #1 position in biosimilars as well as in generic anti-infectives, ophthalmics and transplantation medicines. Sandoz also holds leading global positions in key therapeutic areas ranging from generic injectables, dermatology and respiratory to cardiovascular, metabolism, central nervous system, pain and gastrointestinal.
Sandoz develops, produces and markets finished dosage form (FDF) medicines as well as intermediary products including active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and biotechnological substances. Nearly half of the Sandoz portfolio is in differentiated products – medicines that are scientifically more difficult to develop and manufacture than standard generics.
In addition to strong organic growth since consolidating its generics businesses under the Sandoz brand name in 2003, Sandoz has consistently driven growth in selected geographies and differentiated product areas through a series of targeted acquisitions, including Hexal (Germany), EBEWE Pharma (Austria), and Fougera Pharmaceuticals (US).
Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Sandoz_global at http://twitter.com/Sandoz_Global.

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 over-the-counter products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2014, the Group achieved net sales of USD 58.0 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 130,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are available in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.novartis.com.

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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