Invest Northern Ireland’s Chief Executive Alastair Hamilton has congratulated Craigavon based Almac Group on securing a major licensing deal with US company Genomic Health.
The California based firm specialises in the development and delivery of cancer diagnostics tests and has paid an initial upfront fee of $9million to secure the rights to further develop and commercialise Almac’s breast cancer test. This unique test was developed by Almac’s Diagnostics Business Unit, based in Craigavon, to help predict which patients are likely to benefit from chemotherapy.
Alastair Hamilton said: “It is great to see one of our home grown companies continue to compete and win business on a global scale. Invest NI recognises the significant impact that Almac has made to the Life Sciences sector in Northern Ireland and to the wider economy given the number of high quality jobs that the company provides.
“Invest NI has worked closely with Almac for over 10 years to provide support for a number of its R&D projects. The company should be congratulated for its continued commitment to innovation, growth and export. It is an excellent example of how, despite our size, Northern Ireland possesses the knowledge, skills and drive to succeed globally.
“Today’s announcement of the company’s success in securing this valuable licence for its test to support Breast Cancer treatment demonstrates just how important R&D is to business. Through R&D companies can ensure they remain ahead of the competition and win new business as a result. We would continue to encourage businesses of all sizes to consider R&D as a central part of their business.”
Further significant financial payments are due to Almac on future milestones and royalties on global commercialisation of the test.
Invest NI’s research and development support is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.