Foster announces £13.7million investment and 229 jobs by Almac

Picture by Press Eye Photography

Pictured during a tour of Almac's Formulation Suite are (L-R): Minister Arlene Foster, Alan Armstrong (CEO Almac) and Graeme McBurney (Managing Director of Pharma Services, Almac).

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster has announced that Almac Pharma Services is to create 229 new jobs in Craigavon as part of a £13.7million investment.

Almac provides highly specialised drug development and manufacturing contract services to international pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

The £13.7 million investment is across two core areas of the business and Invest Northern Ireland has offered £2.05million of support.

Firstly, a new development and analytical facility will be established for its Pharmaceutical Development Service (PDS) creating highly specialised formulation drug testing, compliance and quality positions. Secondly, an expansion of a key production line which is used to manufacture a highly successful product for export markets will result in further skilled operations and manufacturing jobs.

Speaking at the facility in Craigavon, the Minister said: “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 £5.5 million 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.”

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.

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.”