Interview with the Winner of the 4th Central Eastern European (CEE) Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Excellence Award!
In 2018 at PHARM Connect Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d. won the 4th CEE Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Excellence Award in the manufacturer category by developing an improved children friendly antibiotic medication in a form of quickly dissolving tablet.
We interviewed Petra Perhavec, Group Head Pharmaceutical Development, Sandoz Development Center Slovenia and Mateja Šikovec, PhD, Project manager expert, Sandoz Development Center Slovenia of Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d. to learn more about the winning project.
Lek Pharmaceuticals d.d. is part of Sandoz and together with all divisions of Novartis Slovenia, represent the largest healthcare provider in Slovenia. During last decade, several investment were done in development of new laboratories, production facilities in all areas; sterile production, biopharmaceuticals, solid production, production of antiinfectives.
The company have a clear strategy of corporate responsibility, focusing on increasing access to affordable medicines, and being a responsible and ethical employer, active community member and industry leader. Sandoz Development Center Slovenia is the leading Sandoz development center for technologically demanding products.
They develop products for the most important markets across Europe, USA, Canada and fast growing markets in Japan, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, China, Korea and Thailand. Over the last four years, they have developed and launched more than 100 new products. Prevailing are 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. The majority of products are manufactured at Sandoz manufacturing plants in Slovenia, with some important products containing an active substance developed in-house.
They are an integral part of Slovenian R&D field, working closely with Slovenia R&D institutions (Universities and Institutes), explicitly a great collaboration with Faculty of Pharmacy, member of University of Ljubljana. Their collaboration displays clear focus of Lek, Sandoz and Novartis to invest in R&D, innovation, and create career opportunities for top students and researchers. Every year they organize Regional BioCamp, a three-day forum where they offer for top students opportunities to meet and work with distinguished experts and top managers from Lek, Sandoz and Novartis.
What were the major achievements after the project had been implemented?
Petra Perhavec & Mateja Šikovec "The patent application has been granted in US and product has been launched on Russian market."
What was the innovation within your project which made you win the 4th CEE Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Excellence Award?
Petra Perhavec & Mateja Šikovec "By using innovative approach of developing quick dissolving tablet we improved all deficiencies of liquid dosage form. The main deliverables of development of a new pharmaceutical dosage form were: a pleasant taste – improved patient compliance, improved storage conditions and administration flexibility."
How do you think the recognition is helping you to gain further publicity?
Petra Perhavec & Mateja Šikovec "We would like to bring this product to all markets, offering the product to every home and by this improve the life of children and parents. We hope, this award will increase the interest of governments and include the product to the list of essential medicines."
In your opinion how is the award supporting the developments of manufacturing excellence solutions in the CEE region?
Petra Perhavec & Mateja Šikovec "Every award is a confirmation that we are following right strategies and this way we improve and extend people’s lives."
Which are the biggest challenges your department or company is currently facing? What type of new solutions or methods are you planning to introduce in your current and upcoming projects?
Petra Perhavec & Mateja Šikovec "Sandoz is facing similar challenges as all others generic companies. If we want to keep our position on the market, we have to find new solutions, ideas and here development is playing a key role."
Are you planning to apply for the award again in the future during PHARM Connect?
Petra Perhavec & Mateja Šikovec "Our Development team is working on a lot of projects and I am sure we will apply for the award also in the future."
Is there anything you would like to add?
Petra Perhavec & Mateja Šikovec "On behalf of 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 in Budapest 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 PHARM Connect Congress!
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