Sandoz doubles down on biosimilars with $90M Slovenia site where it plans to hire 200

Sandoz is doubling down on its commitment to Slovenia in its globe-trotting biosimilar growth quest.

The Novartis generics unit is plugging $90 million into a new biosimilar technical development center in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where the company aims to hire 200 new staffers.

The new site, which Sandoz says will become “key” to its biosimilar development, will feature end-to-end drug substance and drug product development, the company said in a press release Thursday.

This isn’t Sandoz’s first foray into the Balkan country. The announcement follows the company's recent plan to invest a whopping $400 million in a new manufacturing plant there in Lendava. What’s more, Sandoz has already set up prior complex generic development capabilities in Ljubljana. 

Nearby, the company is also expanding its biosimilar development firepower in Holzkirchen, Germany.

The latest move comes shortly after Sandoz unveiled its Act4Biosimilars action plan in June, under which it's angling to triple global biosim uptake over the next 10 years. 

The action plan details key challenges preventing access to biosims and the “actionable steps” needed to overcome the obstacles. The company's first report (PDF) focused on the Americas.

Meanwhile, Sandoz is soon set to go its own way in a spinoff from parent company Novartis. Despite big ambitions as a standalone venture, Sandoz has seen a decline in revenue every year since 2016. 

That could soon change, though, the company predicted early last month. Over the next five years, Sandoz has projected sales of its pipeline products will add $3 billion to its top line, thanks largely to its emphasis on biosimilars. 

The company now has 24 such products in its pipeline, which is “industry-leading,” Sandoz CEO Richard Saynor said during a June investor presentation.