Posted on Thursday 17 January 2013 by Ulster Business

John McQuaid 2

Craigavon-based Almac Group has doubled its pharmaceutical development capacity following the completion of the first phase of a £6.5m expansion project.

The company has built a new 13,400 square foot formulation development facility complete with two new analytical laboratories.

Almac said that as the new facility builds to full capacity over the next two to three years, it is expects to employ up to 60 additional staff in analytical and formulation development roles as well as other indirect support roles.

Formed in 2001 by the late Sir Allen McClay in order to keep the main business units of his former company, Galen, in Northern Ireland, Almac is one of the province's largest employers, with more than 2,000 staff in Craigavon and over 3,000 worldwide.

The firm's new "non-GMP" facility will primarily focus on the development of tablet and capsule formulations for new drugs which are in the early stages of development and which have not yet reached the market. Almac said that combined with existing services at its Craigavon complex, the new facility would help it address the growing needs of existing and new clients.

John McQuaid, VP of Technical Operations for Almac Pharma Services (pictured above), said: "Almac's new non-GMP expansion is a welcome addition to our existing facilities; it complements our existing GMP facilities, but crucially it enables us to operate with improved speed and efficiency in the early stages of projects. We can now offer a very attractive package to our clients, with a larger and more competitive service offering within the international drug development arena.

"As the new facility effectively doubles our current pharmaceutical development capacity, recruitment of experienced skilled staff has already started. As 2013 and the facility's capacity progress, further jobs will be advertised."



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