Interview with Lek Pharmaceuticals

Interview with Lek Pharmaceuticals


Interview with the Winner of the 5th CEE Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Excellence Award!

- Manufacturing category - 


Budapest, HUNGARY 13th March 2019 - Lek Pharmaceuticals won the 5th CEE Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Excellence Award in the manufacturers category at PHARM Connect - the market leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology manufacturing business summit for CEE. Together with all Novartis divisions, they are the largest healthcare provider in Slovenia, for both novel innovative medicines as well as modern and affordable generics; at the same time, they also develop, manufacture and market biologic and biosimilar medicines.

Since 2003, Novartis has invested more than 2.3 billion Euros in Slovenia. More than half of these funds have been allocated to development and the rest to modernization and expansion of the company's production capacities.

Development Center Slovenia is the leading development center in Sandoz for technologically demanding products. They develop products for the most important markets across Europe, USA, Canada and fast growing markets of Japan, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, China, Korea and Thailand. Over the last four years, they have developed and launched more than 100 new products, mostly medicines for lowering blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar, treatment of allergic rhinitis, migraines, insomnia, urinary and gastric disorders as well as non-steroid anti-inflammatory medicines.

With their development activities, they are an integral part of Slovenian R&D field, working closely with Slovenian R&D institutions, such as universities and institutes. Their collaboration displays clear focus of Lek, Sandoz and Novartis to invest in research and development, innovation, and also to create career opportunities for top students and researchers. As a best practice, they can point out Regional BioCamp, a three-day forum that they have been organizing for nine years, offering top students from Slovenia and other countries a unique opportunity to get to know firsthand the work in pharmaceutical industry and to meet distinguished experts and top managers from Lek, Sandoz and Novartis. 

Access to healthcare and responsible business conduct are the foundation of their corporate responsibility. With research achievements and innovations, the company create new and more affordable treatment options for patients around the world. Responsible business practice is integral part of thier business strategy.

To learn more about the award winning project, we interviewed Nemanja Aničić, Scientist in Pharmaceutical Development who is responsible for process development and technological transfer at the Development Center Slovenia in Lek Pharmaceuticals.


  What were the major achievements after the project had been implemented?

Nemanja Aničić  "The production of clinical samples of the FDF containing multilayered coated pellets was performed with reduced number of full-scale batches while avoiding pilot scale completely."


  What was the innovation within your project which made you win the 5th CEE Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Excellence Award?

Nemanja Aničić   "By implementing real-time particle size and shape analysis, we were able to produce product with desired pharmacokinetic characteristics while at the same time process robustness was increased."


  How do you think the recognition is helping you to gain further publicity?

Nemanja Aničić   "We believe that spreading scientific-based approach in drug development will have beneficial impact on the company reputation."


  In your opinion how is the award supporting the developments of manufacturing excellence solutions in the CEE region?

Nemanja Aničić   "We are getting confirmation that we are on the right way in providing products with improved and personized therapeutic effect by means of robust processes and shortened product development."


  Which are the biggest challenges your department is currently facing?

What type of new solutions or methods are you planning to introduce in your current and upcoming project?

Nemanja Aničić   "The new and complex political and economic situation, the digital revolution and demographic changes are transforming the global environment. The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a phase of rapid advancement and changes. In this changing environment, we aim to establish Sandoz as a focused and agile global leader in off-patent medicines and differentiated therapeutics, driven by our strong purpose to pioneer new ways to help people access high quality care. We want to lead in biosimilars, branded generics, differentiated products, OTC and digital therapeutics. Development is playing a key role in this strategy."


  Are you planning to apply for the award again in the future during PHARM Connect?

Nemanja Aničić   "In Pharmaceutical Development, there are quite some interesting ideas developing right now, I am sure there will be more applications for the award also in the future."


  Is there anything you would like to add?

Nemanja Aničić   "I would like to thank my co-workers Polona Smrdel and Teo Morožin for this fruitful collaboration as well as my operational head Sara Vidovič for an opportunity to be a part of such successful story.

Also, I would like to point out, that such results in short period of time would not be achieved without extensive and open collaboration with our partners Domen Kitak and Peter Usenik from Sensum d.o.o.

On behalf of the whole team I would like to thank TEG for the award and the opportunity to present our innovation on this event."


We are passionate about bringing together annually the best representatives and innovators of the pharmaceutical industry to create a valuable and engaged professional network in Central and Eastern Europe. If you think your solution is cutting-edge and should be recognized by the industry, apply for the next CEE Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Excellence Award and put your business in the spotlight by presenting your solution at the upcoming Congress!




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