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LEK d.d., a member of the Sandoz Group, plans an investment in Lendava worth an estimated EUR 400 million

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed for an investment in a high-tech centre for the production of biosimilars.

Pharmaceutical company Lek, a member of the Sandoz Group, has today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Slovenian Government for a planned investment in a high-tech centre for the production of biosimilars in Lendava, Slovenia. This is one of the largest foreign direct investments in the history of Slovenia. It is also the largest single investment in the history of Lek. The estimated value of the investment is EUR 400 million. Up to 300 new jobs have been foreseen, with a focus on high value-added jobs.

At the time of signing the MoU, Prime Minister Robert Golob said: "Slovenia today is a politically stable, orderly and attractive country in all respects. Our economic environment is resilient and predictable, we have a skilled and highly educated workforce, an excellent geo-strategic location and a well-developed infrastructure. The decision of the world's leading biosimilar manufacturer to choose Slovenia for an investment worth an estimated EUR 400 million is proof of all this. I am particularly pleased that this is an investment by a long-term strategic investor, a socially responsible and sustainable company that is already one of Slovenia’s largest and most prominent employers. With such investments, we are on our way to a highly productive, competitive and green economy."

The Chief Executive Officer of Sandoz, Richard Saynor, said: ''Biosimilars increase access to state-of-the-art biological therapies for patients who need them most. At Sandoz, we are committed to continuing our leadership role in advancing the availability of these essential medicines. This investment in Lendava underlines our ambition to be a sustainable global leader in biosimilars in the pharmaceutical sector, which is expected to grow at a double-digit annual rate over the next decade.

The President of Lek d.d., Board of Management and Sandoz Country President for Slovenia, Robert Ljoljo, stressed: "I am convinced that the Lendava site will also be very successful in high-tech large molecule biopharmaceutical production. It will have the full support of an internal environment focused on continuous improvement and achieving the highest quality of processes and sustainability management. We are delighted to have the confidence of Sandoz and the support of the Government. I would like to thank our key stakeholders and excellent partners, the local community, research, scientific and educational institutions, professional and industry organisations for their good cooperation.''

Minister of the Economy, Tourism and Sport Matjaž Han said: "Lek's planned investment is important not only for the pharmaceutical industry but for the economy as a whole. The investment will support the development of Pomurje and have a positive impact on the Slovenian economy by strengthening the pharmaceutical and related industries and the logistics sector. Close cooperation with scientific and research institutions, universities and professional and vocational schools provides an opportunity to further strengthen science and development in Slovenia. Lastly, the investment also sends a positive message about Slovenia in terms of attracting and retaining foreign direct investment.”

Lek d.d. is expected to start construction this year, and full operation of the production centre with low environmental impacts is planned for the end of 2026.