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Bioprocessing & Manufacturing
Bioprocess International

Sandoz Funds Biosimilar Production Plant $400M in Slovenia

Posted by on 29 March 2023
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Announced yesterday, Sandoz pledges at least $400 million into new plant, which work is expected to begin later this year.

Chris Lewis, the spokesperson or Sandoz, told this publication, “The plan is to produce biosimilars at the plant,” with the center supporting both the firm’s current portfolio and future pipeline. Full operations are planned for late 2026.

Further details regarding size and capacity at the facility are being kept under wraps, but the increase in production capacity will help Sandoz consolidate its position “among the largest and most stable employers in the municipality of Lendava and in Pomurje.”

In Slovenia, Novartis, which currently runs Sandoz but has laid plans to spin-off its generics and biosimilars division Sandoz later this year, has mammalian manufacturing capabilities in Menges where clinical and commercial-scale biosimilars are produced and a fill & finish plant in Ljubljana.

“We have been producing quality pharmaceuticals in Slovenia for nearly 40 years,” said Lewis. “Lendava offers us a strong combination of political stability, proximity to our existing European-based production and commercial operations, and competitive costs.”

The site “also manages operating costs responsibly, with good logistical links to nearby Sandoz production and commercial sites,” while Lendava itself is near academic institutions, like the University in Maribor, which he said could lead to potential partnership programs.

Around 300 jobs will be created on the site during the first phase of expansion.

Sandoz is one of the world’s largest biosimilar developers and manufacturers. In 2006, the firm achieved approval of Omnitrope (biosimilar recombinant human growth hormone [rhGH]) in Europe, and nine years later became the first commercial biosimilar developer to bring a biosimilar to the US – Zarxio, a version of Amgen’s Neupogen (filgrastim).

Beyond these, the firm has won approval for six other biosimilars across various regions: Erelzi (etanercept), Binocrit (epoetin alfa), Ziextenzo (pegfilgrastim), Rixathon (rituximab), Hyrimoz (adalimumab), and Zessley (Infliximab).

This article was originally published in BioProcess Insider.Click to subscribe.

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