Novartis unit to consolidate Slovenian logistics in Kuehne + Nagel deal

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Novartis subsidiary Lek Pharmaceuticals will consolidate its Slovenian logistics and warehousing operations from 10 sites to one.

Lek, an offshoot of generics maker Sandoz, part of Swiss pharma giant Novartis, confirmed to in-Pharmatechnologist.com it is looking to consolidate its logistics operations in Slovenia and optimise costs through a deal with third-party service provider Kuehne + Nagel starting 2018.

“Lek has decided for a single business partner in logistics because high volume growth resulted in a need to bring the logistics to a higher level,” spokeswoman Katarina Klemenc said.

“We aim at improving the existing Novartis warehousing network in Slovenia and make it best suited to support our internal and external customers’ growing needs in the future. Existing warehousing footprint of Novartis in Slovenia is dispersed over 10 locations.”

Kuehne + Nagel is building a 35,000m2 logistic centre near Ljubljana airport with more than 70,000 pallet places which – when it opens in 2018 – will provide enough warehousing capacities for Lek over the coming years, Klemenc said.

“Lek will transfer to Kuehne + Nagel final products storage and part of production materials storage. Both parties will work together on the transfer of the business, including IT system development and implementation of quality standards, which apply in pharma industry.”

She added around a dozen jobs would be affected by the transfer but “Lek employees will keep all existing rights in accordance with local legislation.”

Lek’s manufacturing operations in Slovenia include a site in Prevalje which recently saw a production capacity expansion due to increased demand for Sandoz’ version of GlaxoSmithKline’s Augmentin, a broad spectrum antibiotic that consists of amoxicillin and clavulanic acid.

The firm also has a protein manufacturing facility in Menges, central Slovenia, which makes the drug substance for its Epogen (epoetin alfa) biosimilar.

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