Posted on Tuesday 11 June 2013 by Ulster Business


Almac's Graeme McBurney and Alan Armstrong show Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster the ropes in one of the company's high tech laboratories.

Craigavon-based pharmaceuticals company Almac Pharma Services is to create 229 new jobs in Northern Ireland as part of a £13.7m investment in its business.

Almac, which provides highly specialised drug development and manufacturing contract services to international pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, announced plans for a new facility at its Craigavon site, as well as the expansion of an existing production line.

The new development and analytical facility will be established for the company's Pharmaceutical Development Service (PDS) creating highly specialised formulation drug testing, compliance and quality positions. The expansion of the key production line used to manufacture a highly successful product for export markets will result in further skilled operations and manufacturing jobs, it said.

Graeme McBurney of Almac said: "Centralising and expanding our production in Craigavon will mean more cost effective manufacturing and optimal quality control and distribution. The added manufacturing capability will enable us to operate with improved speed and efficiency, particularly in the early stages of projects. Ultimately, the investment will make Almac an even more attractive proposition to international clients who seek streamlined, one stop drug development solutions."

Almac takes its customers initial drug formulations and manufactures them on a large volume scale for global markets. Central to the service that Almac offers are drug testing and quality compliance monitoring which ensure that drug action is not negatively impacted by large scale manufacturing and that full regulatory approvals are met.

Invest NI has offered the company £2.05m of support towards the project, which Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said would further enhance a growing sector of the economy.

"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 £5.5m 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," she said.



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