Almac Expansion Will Add More than 200 Jobs in Northern Ireland
Almac is expanding its commercial manufacturing, thanks to a total investment of £13.7million, which includes some financial support from Invest Northern Ireland. Expansions at its Craigavon, Northern Ireland, site include a new non-GMP drug development facility as well as the creation of a new 13,400-sq-ft formulation development facility and analytical laboratories. Over the next three years, up to 229 jobs will be created, Almac reported in a press release.
With a laxative drug contract manufactured by Almac recording robust sales growth year on year throughout the UK and Europe and its existing facilities at full capacity, Almac decided to focus all production in Northern Ireland and added additional equipment and resources in Craigavon. The investment will deliver blending equipment and an automated packing and integrated cartoning line that will enable high volume bulk commercial manufacturing scheduled to begin in November 2013, the company reported.
“The laxative product has been a great success in the UK and increasingly in European markets," explained Graeme McBurney, President & Managing Director of the business unit, in the press release. "The marketing and promotion of the product by our contract customer has been very effective and significant growth potential in several new territories such as China has been identified. Centralising and expanding our production in Craigavon will mean more cost effective manufacturing and optimal quality control and distribution.”
Also, Almac's new formulation development facility and analytical laboratories will focus on the development of tablet and capsule formulations for new drugs in the early stages of development. The new “non-GMP” facility will enable greater speed in formulation and process development, by creating an environment where development work can be progressed quickly and efficiently, free of many of the constraints usually associated with drug manufacturing, the company reports.
“We are also delighted to see the completion of the new non-GMP facility on site which, alongside Almac’s existing GMP capability, will enable us to operate with improved speed and efficiency in the early stages of projects," stated McBurney. "This latest addition makes Almac a much more attractive proposition to international clients who seek streamlined, one stop drug development solutions.”
Added Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster: “This investment is good news for Craigavon and will reinforce Northern Ireland’s position in the wider life sciences sector. The 229 new jobs will deliver almost £5.5 million annually in salaries, bringing an important and positive economic boost which will benefit local people.”
“Almac has a reputation for excellence in the international pharmaceuticals sector and today’s announcement will ensure that it remains in a competitive position and can continue to meet the needs of its global client base.”