Sandoz stands out

By Andrea Gawrylewski

Courtesty of Sandoz

Having never ranked in the history of our Best Places to Work in Industry survey, Sandoz debuts at number four on the Top Large Companies list in 2007. The company's recent changes in how their scientists are involved in the entire process of generic drug discovery and development may have helped Sandoz creep out from under the arm of their parent company, Novartis. In addition, the company isn't burdened by a looming hierarchy, a feature of other larger global industry leaders.

"In our structure of management there are not a lot of levels; we see everybody," says Allen Sicley, a research supervisor...

Involving researchers in every stage of a product's development contributes to a strong sense of ownership and responsibility. "Scientists [in our company] can see a project from start to completion," says Francois Menard, vice president of product development in the United States. "Scientists can get involved in intellectual property issues, patent development (which is very important for us) and involved in the marketing aspects [of a new product]." Rather than compartmentalizing researchers to a select few stages of drug development, the company has worked hard over the past few years to encourage a researcher to spearhead a project from beginning to end. Sicley feels that this has helped the process of development speed up to meet the demand for generic drugs.

With more than 2,250 R & D researchers worldwide at Sandoz, the company is working to improve collaboration among its many global sites. This summer it will open a new "center of excellence" in North Carolina that it hopes will serve as a base for research collaboration.

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