The Regional BioCamp 2017 winners announced

  • By announcing the winners, Lek successfully concluded its seventh top scientific event for the most promising life-science students from the region – Regional BioCamp 2017.
  • The central theme of this year’s Regional BioCamp was Challenges and Opportunities for Immunotherapy Treatment. The latter has recently become an established novel approach in cancer treatment. 
  • The winners of the Regional BioCamp 2017 are Filip Ilievski, Klara Kropivšek Mitja Pohlen.
24. 5. 2017

With yesterday’s announcement of the winners, Lek successfully concluded the seventh Regional BioCamp with the title Immunotherapy – Challenges and Opportunities. Among the 35 participating young students from nine countries, the expert panel selected three individuals who best translated the newly acquired knowledge into practice. They are Filip Ilievski from from Skopje University, Macedonia, Klara Kropivšek from ETH, Switzerland and Mitja Pohlen from Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Also announced was the winning team that demonstrated the best performance in transferring the acquired knowledge into practice. The members of the winning team were Zorana Bugarin, Simone Detassis, Carina Hasenoehrl, Jure Kocman, Katja Olenik, Maja Šemanjski in Andrej Šterman.

»This year, once again, we were extremely impressed by the achievements and knowledge of the young scientists participating at the Regional BioCamp. They have demonstrated exceptional innovation, readiness to face new challenges and excellent teamwork. They have showed great potential and confirmed that the future of science is in good hands,« expressed her astonishment about the participants Darja Ferčej Temeljotov, Chair Organizing Committee.

At this year’s seventh consecutive Regional BioCamp, the most talented young scientists from the field of life-science explored challenges and opportunities for immunotherapy treatments. They explored new approaches to treatment offered by immunotherapy and received patient views on treatment options. At the three-day event, experienced experts and managers from the field of pharmacy and economics also presented to students the new developments in the generic pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry as well as the global experience in the development of biosimilars. An important part of the forum also included the fostering of an entrepreneurial mindset, therefore the participants, through lectures and workshops, learned at first hand about opportunities for their career development in the pharmaceutical industry, gaining an insight into how to start and run their own company and how to develop and launch a biopharmaceutical product.

Five teams then tried to translate the acquired knowledge and their own ideas to their best abilities into new products and services. With a case study, the participants demonstrated their way of thinking to the expert panel and showed their innovation skills and abilities in constructive teamwork. 

The winners:

»I loved the whole experience on Regional BioCamp. I really liked all the key speakers and all the lectures on this event; also the whole organization was great. The best part was actually meeting new people and creating new networks, because this is also how you grow personally. I come from more of a scientific background and I had to put myself in the shoes of entrepreneur and do the business plan, something that I haven’t done yet. After this event, I definitely see myself in this industry,« said Filip Ilievski. 

»I was surprised about this winning; I surely didn’t expect it, because all the students here were really great. Working on the case study was a big challenge, but we got an important new perspective of the industry. The best part of this event was getting to know all these new people. From the beginning on, we took our time to learn about each other and I can we say that we’ve become friends, even though we’ve been together for only two days. The long working hours also brought us closer together,« said Klara Kropivšek. 

»Regional BioCamp was an amazing experience. Meeting all the people from Lek, Novartis and Sandoz and having an option to see how this industry works – that was really something unique. I would definitely recommend to everybody, who is interested in this industry or is thinking of starting their own company in natural science, to participate on this event. It’s a great opportunity to gain new knowledge and learn about pharmaceutical industry,« said Mitja Pohlen.  

The representative of the winning team Katja Olenik from Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana commented on their success: »The reason why we won is that we were the most balanced group. We were mostly focused on finding compromise among all our ideas and at the end, the whole project just clicked together. This whole event was such a journey for me. We all come here as individuals and of course, we all wanted to show the best of us as individuals. But winning as a team is for me now more important than winning as an individual. It tells a story, of how we developed a great idea together, what everybody brought together and also, it tells a story of starting new friendships.« 

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Lek, a Sandoz company, is one of the 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 key 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 active ingredients and products; a supply center for the markets of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), South East Europe (SEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and is responsible for marketing and sales of Sandoz products on the Slovenian market. For further information, please visit

Sandoz is a global leader in generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals. As a division of the Novartis Group, our purpose is to discover new ways to improve and extend people’s lives. We contribute to society’s ability to support growing healthcare needs by pioneering novel approaches to help people around the world access high-quality medicine. Our portfolio of approximately 1000 molecules, covering all major therapeutic areas, accounted for 2016 sales of USD 10.1 billion. In 2016, our products reached more than 500 million patients and we aspire to reach one billion. Sandoz is headquartered in Holzkirchen, in Germany’s Greater Munich area.
Sandoz is on Twitter. Sign up to follow @Sandoz_global at (link is external).

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, cost-saving generic and biosimilar pharmaceuticals and eye care. Novartis has leading positions globally in each of these areas. In 2016, the Group achieved net sales of USD 48.5 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.0 billion. Novartis Group companies employ approximately 118,000 full-time-equivalent associates. Novartis products are sold in approximately 155 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