Contract-service providers expand
In March 2011, in response to increased client demand for cold and dedicated frozen storage capacity for biopharmaceuticals, Almac's Pharma Services business unit expanded its commercial facilities to include an additional 6124 ft2 of cold and frozen storage. The expansion was a joint investment with a commercial client for which Almac provides central European Union importation, warehousing, and distribution services. This space includes dedicated -70 °C, –20 °C, and 2–8 °C storage for drug antibody, drug linker, bulk drug substance, placebo, and filled vials. The company added 20 additional dedicated freezer units to its existing 10 for the storage of the monoclonal antibody and bulk drug substance products.
The opening of its North American headquarters in 2011 and the addition of cold-storage capacity in the EU were in addition to several other expansions in Almac's clinical-trial-materials operations. In January 2012, Almac opened a new £3-million ($4.7 million) 30,000-ft2 building at its Craigavon headquarters, which will house 150 employees from Almac's Clinical Services business. In December 2011, Almac launched a new forecasting platform, Compass, which is designed to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the supply-inventory process during clinical studies. Compass is part of Almac's Supply Chain Management services to aid in the packaging, labeling, and distribution of trial supplies on a global level. Also, in June 2011, Almac's clinical-services business unit increased its presence in the Asia-Pacific region with the addition of five new depots in Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, thereby providing the company with 36 depots in its network with another five planned for 2012.
In August 2011, Catalent Pharma Solutions expanded its cold-chain supply and distribution capabilities in all major areas of the company's cold-chain storage and distribution, including 2–8 °C and–80 °C capabilities, in some cases more than tripling existing capacity for storage and distribution. The cold-chain expansions at Catalent's European sites in Bolton, United Kingdom, and Schorndorf, Germany, were scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011.
Catalent also made other key moves to improve its clinical-services business. In October 2011, the company opened an European development and clinical services laboratory in Swindon, United Kingdom. This expansion followed recently expanded clinical-supply service capabilities in Schorndorf, Germany. Also, in 2011, Catalent acquired the clinical-trial supplies business of Aptuit, positioning the company as the number two provider globally in clinical-supply solutions.