Sandoz lines up $400m biosimilar production plant in Slovenia

Novartis’s soon-to-be independent Sandoz division has signed an MOU to build a plant in Lendava to support its biosimilar products.

Dan Stanton, Managing editor

March 10, 2023

2 Min Read
Sandoz lines up $400m biosimilar production plant in Slovenia
Image: DepositPhotos/ stevanovicigor

Novartis’s soon-to-be independent Sandoz division has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build a plant in Lendava to support its biosimilar products.

The deal, announced yesterday, saw Sandoz pledge at least $400 million into the new plant, work on which is expected to begin later this year.

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


Image: DepositPhotos/

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).

About the Author(s)

Dan Stanton

Managing editor

Journalist covering the international biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing industries.

Founder and editor of Bioprocess Insider, a daily news offshoot of publication Bioprocess International, with expertise in the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, in particular, the following niches: CROs, CDMOs, M&A, IPOs, biotech, bioprocessing methods and equipment, drug delivery, regulatory affairs and business development.

From London, UK originally but currently based in Montpellier, France through a round-a-bout adventure that has seen me live and work in Leeds (UK), London, New Zealand, and China.

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