The company is committed to investing at least $400m and intends to start works on the new biosimilars plant this year, with full operations expected to commence in late 2026


Novartis Campus in Basel. (Credit: Novartis AG)

Sandoz, the generic and biosimilar medicines unit of Novartis, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to build a new biologics production plant in Lendava, Slovenia.

The company is expected to invest at least $400m to support its goal of driving the future growth of its global biosimilar portfolio.

Sandoz intends to start works on the new biosimilars plant this year, with full operations expected to commence in late 2026.

The move represents one of the largest private-sector investments in Slovenia.

Republic of Slovenia Prime Minister Robert Golob said: “I am particularly pleased that this is an investment by a long-term strategic investor, a socially responsible and sustainable company, which is already one of the largest and most respected employers in Slovenia.”

Sandoz Technical Operations global head Glenn Gerecke said: “This state-of-the-art site will be a major new jewel in the Sandoz crown, enabling us to meet the growing demand for our current and future biosimilars in the mid-to-long-term.

“The location offers us a strong combination of political stability, proximity to our existing European-based production and commercial operations, and competitive costs.”

Sandoz has recently announced an additional €50m investment to expand its antibiotics production network across Europe.

With the additional funding, the company’s total new investment in the European network in the past few years increases to €250m.

Sandoz is focused on producing biosimilars and generic antibiotics, and the anti-infectives unit is its second largest business after biopharmaceuticals, said the company.

Sandoz CEO Richard Saynor said: “Biosimilar medicines increase access to cutting-edge biologic therapies for the patients who need them most.

“At Sandoz, we are determined to continue leading the way in driving access to these critical medicines.

“This investment underscores our ambition to be the sustainable global leader in biosimilars, a segment projected to grow double-digit annually over the next decade.”

Earlier this year, Sandoz entered into an agreement with Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma, to purchase the latter’s systemic antifungal agent Mycamine.