Expansion will provide a 140,000ft2 capacity increase for development and manufacturing facilities

The Almac Group has today announced details of an £80 million investment programme to build new extensive manufacturing, production and diagnostic laboratory facilities at its Global Headquarters in Craigavon, Northern Ireland.

The expansion, which is part of the global investment programme announced in 2022, will significantly grow operations for two of the Group’s business units, Almac Pharma Services and Almac Diagnostic Services.

Almac Pharma Services supports the development and commercialisation of new treatment options for a wide range of therapy areas including oncology and immunology.  Almac Diagnostic Services offers a range of biomarker discovery, development, and commercialisation solutions to Biopharma partners globally.

The first of these two major projects is a £65m, 100,000ft2 state-of-the-art multi-product Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility for Almac Pharma Services, which will be operational from quarter three of 2024.  This Centre of Excellence significantly increases Almac Pharma Services’ manufacturing capacity and will support the company’s existing global partnerships, reinforcing its strong track record of providing superior drug development, manufacturing and commercial services.

The new facility will primarily support solid oral dose products, complementing Almac’s existing capabilities in this area. It includes an extension to current scales of production for products involving potent and highly potent APIs. The high-specification production suites, which will be operated by Almac’s expert scientific and operational teams, have been designed with flexibility and a wide range of uses in mind.  This offers opportunities for clients to install bespoke technology specific to their individual and emerging pipeline needs.

The facility houses a custom-designed dispensary area, multiple production suites, process equipment, wash facilities and a lineside warehouse for ambient, refrigerated and frozen storage.

The second project is a 40,000 ft2 four-story diagnostic development and manufacturing centre for Almac Diagnostic Services which is due for completion by Q1 2024.  This facility will enable the expansion of its biomarker discovery and assay development offerings and the manufacturing and distribution of Companion Diagnostic (CDx) kits on a commercial scale to support growing client demand.

This in turn will cement the company’s position in the market as a fully resourced diagnostic partner of choice to pharma and biotech companies to support their precision medicine programmes.

John McQuaid, President and Managing Director, Almac Pharma Services commented: “In the past five years we have experienced increased demand for our pharmaceutical development, commercial manufacturing and packaging solutions. Our strong track record and expertise in handling complex and challenging molecules across a range of batch scales enables us to offer clients a variety of solutions to meet the individual requirements of their products.

“This significant investment demonstrates our commitment to offering enhanced drug development and manufacturing solutions and further establishes Almac Pharma Services as a long-term partner for commercial supply of novel therapies. The new facility adds more capacity and additional capabilities including larger-scale potent handling.  We can tailor these capabilities to suit individual products as we work in partnership with our clients to bring important therapies to the patients we serve.”

Professor Paul Harkin, President and Managing Director, Almac Diagnostic Services said: “Almac is committed to providing cutting-edge molecular diagnostics solutions for our global biopharma clients.  Our end-to-end diagnostic services cover all facets of biomarker discovery through to clinical trial assay development and validation and subsequent patient testing for enrolment onto clinical trials.

“We offer clients full-service support, including assistance in the development, manufacturing, and commercialisation of CDx assays, offering customers single-site and kitted commercial models for their companion diagnostics programmes.

“This investment and expansion of our laboratory and manufacturing capabilities, allows greater capacity to keep up with growing demand for our range of diagnostic services, ensuring that Almac continues to play a leading role within precision medicine.”

About Almac Group 

The Almac Group is an established contract development and manufacturing organisation providing an extensive range of integrated services across the drug development lifecycle to the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors globally. Its innovative services range from R&D, biomarker discovery development and commercialisation, API manufacture, analytical services, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IRT (IVRS/IWRS) through to commercial-scale manufacture.

The international company is a privately owned organisation that has grown organically, now employing 7,000 highly skilled personnel across 18 facilities including Europe, the USA and Asia.

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