Almac has announced further expansion of its UK facility. Together with the new non-GMP drug development facility at the Craigavon site, the two expansions represent a total investment of £13.7million ($21.5 million), which includes some financial support from Invest Northern Ireland. Both projects are expected to create up to 229 jobs over the next three years according to the press release.
Almac stated that it will focus all production in Northern Ireland with additional equipment and resources in Craigavon. The investment will deliver blending equipment, an automated packing and integrated cartoning line which will enable high volume bulk commercial manufacturing, scheduled to begin in November 2013.
The new 13,400 square-feet formulation-development facility and analytical laboratories at Almac’s Craigavon site are also experiencing growth. This non-GMP facility develops tablet and capsule formulations for new drugs in early-stage development, which have not reached the market. The aim is to enable greater speed in formulation and process development, by creating an environment where development work be done quickly and efficiently and free from the constraints associated with drug manufacturing.
According to Graeme McBurney, president and managing director of the business unit, centralizing and expanding the production in Craigavon will be more cost effective for optimal quality control and distribution, given that Almac’s laxative product has been a success in the UK and Europe. “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.”
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said, “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.”