Mengeš site an important part of Sandoz development and production network

  • Growing importance of the Mengeš site with more than 600 employees for Sandoz development and production of higher-complexity pharmaceutical ingredients for global sales, accessibility of the latest biologic and the fulfilment of Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals’ mission.
  • Novartis is the most environmentally responsible international company in the global pharmaceutical industry on the scale published by Newsweek magazine at the end of October.
  • Advanced technological investment in environmental protection and active cooperation with the local community. Fully met environmental targets for 2011.
8. 11. 2012

Today, the Open House Day was organised at the Sandoz development and production site in Mengeš, attended by the residents of Mengeš and nearby towns as well as the majors and other representatives of the municipality of Mengeš and neighbouring municipalities. Through the development of research and production activities in recent years, the site has strengthened significantly and has become one of the key parts of the global pharmaceutical group Sandoz. At Mengeš, Sandoz is also expanding investments in environmental management , additionally minimising the impact of its operations on the environment.

Increasing strength of Sandoz’ development center for production of higher-complexity pharmaceutical ingredients

The Mengeš site is strengthening its role in the development and production of selected high-value pharmaceutical ingredients and biosimilars, thereby also increasing its contribution towards consolidating Sandoz’ leading position among generic pharmaceutical companies in the world. It regularly introduces products into production that enable further development of the site. »With our successful performance in the global market we are also contributing to development of local environment. We employ more than 600 associates and are among the major companies operators in this part of Slovenia. We are strongly development-oriented and provide employment for numerous experts. Nearly 41 per cent of our employees have at least a university degree,« explained Egidij Capuder, Head Production at Mengeš.

Strengthening of cooperation with the local community and environmental investment

Operations of Lek, a Sandoz company, are based on a long-term strategy which includes socially responsible operations in all areas of business, such as active engagement in the local community. In the municipality of Domžale and Mengeš it supports various projects and organisations: patient associations, schools, kindergartens, sports associations as well as cultural and social institutions. Adopting the Novartis policy of sustainable development it also pursues environmentally responsible behaviour. Implementation of this policy placed Novartis in the #1 ranking in the international pharmaceutical industry on the scale recently (22nd October) published by Newsweek magazine.
Continuous lowering of the environmental burden and protection of the environment are among our key priorities. By adopting our environmental policy which is the basis of our company’s conduct, we are committed to a responsible attitude toward the environment. We follow the strict guidelines of Novartis and Sandoz and comply with the requirements of health, safety and environmental legislation.

Furthermore, Mengeš site continuously invests in advanced environmental technologies and implementation of environmental policy. When lowering the environmental burden, the focus is on lowering emissions and increasing energy efficiency. Regular measurements, monitored by the authorised monitoring authorities, show that all environmental impact parameters are below the regulatory threshold. Under the EU directive, the Mengeš site operations are classified as a source with insignificant human and ecological risk.

In pursuing the company’s key environmental targets by 2015, last year the Mengeš site successfully met annual targets. At the forefront were the improvement of efficiency of water and energy resource use, increased efficiency of waste management and decreasing emissions of halogenated and non-halogenated volatile organic compounds.

Energy efficiency has increased by more than 2%. It exceeded the planned 2% improvement in the efficiency of technical water use per tonne of product and with several measures improved on the results from last year by as much as 9%. Due to a changed methodology the comparative figures for the quantity of waste produced per tonne of product will become evident after the end of this year.

As explained by Egidij Capuder, changes in the production program and investments in advanced environmental technologies also have an impact on the results in any individual year. Environmental impacts are controlled and are below regulatory thresholds and significant improvements reflect favourable results of environmental investment.

Lower emissions values of all volatile organic compounds are also a result of the instalment of a new advanced treatment device which since 2010 has been removing halogenated solvents from exhaust air using state-of-the-art cryogenic condensation technology. A downward trend of emissions is also confirmed by the figures for the previous year when total volatile organic compounds emissions, expressed in tonnes per tonne of product, were nearly 18% lower than in 2010.This year, emissions will be further reduced with a new device for regenerative thermal oxidation which has already been put into operation. Due to its autothermal mode of operation and lower consumption of earth gas, the device is more energy efficient than its predecessor.
»Also when protecting the environment, pursuing common interest with the local community is at the forefront. Our goal is to further develop this cooperation, part of which includes today’s Open House Day,« highlighted Egidij Capuder.

The only industrial center for modern biotechnology in Slovenia

The latest investment of Sandoz in Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš are the new laboratories for cellular and molecular biology, opened in October this year. Lek started its own genetic technology development as early as the 1980’s. The first production site for the production of biological medicines in Slovenia was opened in 2004, followed by the operational start-up of the Development Center in 2007, and the plant for the production of technologically difficult to make biopharmaceutical ingredients in 2010.

»In the last 9 years, Novartis has invested nearly 54 million Euros in the development, research and production of biopharmaceuticals in Slovenia, which clearly demonstrates the corporate confidence in Slovenian knowledge and expertise and support of further development of sites in Slovenia,« highlighted Dr Matjaž Oven, Head Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš.

Today, this sole Slovenian industrial center for modern recombinant biotechnology employs over 183 experts from the field of pharmacy, chemistry, biotechnology, microbiology and biochemistry. Among them, more than a quarter have a PhD or master’s degrees in science.

»Being a part of a successful global pharmaceutical company, our experts have an invaluable opportunity to work at home and gain experience from abroad at the same time,« added Dr Matjaž Oven.

* * *

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

* * *

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.

- end -

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