STA, 9 September 2019 - Pharmaceutical company Lek inaugurated new development laboratories in Ljubljana on Monday in an investment valued at EUR 7.5 million. Among other drugs, they plan to develop sterile solid dosage forms to treat cancer patients.
Matjaž Tršek, the director of Lek's development centre, said that work on oncology medications had been somewhat limited, while the new investment would allow them to develop the whole portfolio of these medications.
As part of the centre's expansion "existing capacities for development of solid dosage pharmaceutical forms have been expanded, including with new analysis laboratories and expansion of in vitro/in vivo correlation study laboratories," said Luka Peternel, the head of pharmaceutical development at the centre.
Tršek added that "certain new technologies have been brought ... The number of staff has increased and there has been a substantial increase in funds for research". The number of employees at the development centre has increased by about 20% since 2015 to more than 330.
According to him, the centre will also get the first fully automated analysis laboratory. "It'll be the first such laboratory in Sandoz and even Novartis," he said, referring to Lek's parent company and division. The new lab is to be completed by the end of the year.
With the launch of the new labs, Lek is wrapping up a cycle of investment in new capacities, which enhances the Ljubljana development centre's position within the global development network: "We are the largest development centre within Sandoz even now, and this only enhances our position," said Tršek.
According to Lek, the Slovenia development centre is Sandoz's leading centre for the development of technologically advanced products for key markets of Europe, United States, Canada, Japan and emerging markets of Brazil, Russia, Mexico and China.
The Slovenia development centre, responsible for a quarter of all global development projects of Sandoz, Novartis's generic arm, has developed and launched more than 100 new products over the past four years.
The investment launch today comes after Lek decided to discontinue its EUR 150 million investment in expanding antibiotics production at its Prevalje location in the north of the country.