Craigavon-based Almac has announced a commercial manufacturing expansion. With the recent completion of a non-GMP drug development facility at the Craigavon site, this expansion represents a total investment of $10.3 million, including financial support from Invest Northern Ireland. Up to 229 jobs will be created across both projects over the next three years.
The product, a laxative drug, which is contract manufactured by Almac, has recorded sales growth year-on-year throughout the U.K. and Europe. Almac is focusing 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 beginning in November 2013.
Its new, 13,400-square-foot formulation development facility and analytical laboratories focuses on tablet and capsule formulations for new early-stage drugs.
“The marketing and promotion of the product by our contract customer has been very effective and significant growth potential in several new territories, such as China, has been identified,” said Graeme McBurney, president and managing director of the business unit. “Centralizing and expanding our production in Craigavon will mean more cost-effective manufacturing and optimal quality control and distribution.”
“This investment is good news for Craigavon and will reinforce Northern Ireland’s position in the wider life sciences sector,” said Arlene Foster, enterprise minister. “The 229 new jobs will deliver almost $4 million annually in salaries, bringing an important and positive economic boost which will benefit local people.”