When it comes to investor confidence, Slovenia’s advantages as a location of choice are reaffirmed
Lek, a Sandoz company, gets a booster shot of 10 million euros for Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš. The new laboratory facilities for the development of final dosage form for biosimilars, quality control and biopharmaceuticals technical development employ close to have hired almost 100 persons with knowledge and skills to take development in biopharma business to the next level. Biopharmaceuticals Mengeš now has a 350-strong staff of which some 80 per cent are university graduates and 34 per cent hold master’s degree or a doctorate in science. According to Ms Carol Lynch, Global Head of Biopharmaceuticals and Oncology Injectables at Sandoz, the company “exceptionally strong biotechnology talent in Slovenia involved in almost every aspect of biopharmaceutical development and manufacturing”. In order to qualify for a new investment in pharmaceutical giant, a company has to beat many rivals and to do so, a business-friendly environment plays an important role. If we are to understand how comptetive both Lek and Slovenia are, we have to take a closer look at big players in the pharmaceutical industry.Lek is part of Sandoz, a pioneer and global leader in biosimilars with a number of biosimilar molecules in various stages of development, and Sandoz is a division of Novartis, is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals. Thanks also to its Mengeš labs, Lek does not only remain one of key pillars of the second-largest generic pharmaceutical company globally, but it has strengthened its reputation as a leading global development centre for technologically demanding products and technologies. In addition, it is a global manufacturing centre for active pharmaceutical ingredients and medicines and a Sandoz competence centre in several fields. The fact that the labs in Mengeš manufacture over 20 substances for medical products of Sandoz and Novartis, means that they are sold in more than 160 markets around the world. Excellent collaboration with academic and scientific institutions in Slovenia has undoubtedly tipped the scale in favour of investment in Lek’s operations. Experts from Jožef Stefan Institute, Chemical Institute, Slovenian Institute for Biology – to mention just a few have had a crucial role in the success of all parts of Lek in its commitment to improving healthcare by working in the fast-growing segment of the pharmaceutical industry: biopharmaceuticals. More than 180 million euros invested in the Mengeš-based operation so far is the best illustration of how important biosimilar products are for the future and Lek is well-placed to attract more investment for new breakthroughs.