The Almac Group has expanded its commercial pharmaceutical packaging operations with a $10 million investment in a new 100,000 sq-ft commercial facility in Audubon, PA.
The Almac Group is based in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, and has U.S. operations in North Carolina, California, and Pennsylvania. The company's services include R&D, biomarker discovery and development, API manufacture, formulation development and clinical trial supply, as well as packaging.
Bringing more than 30 years of commercial packaging experience from its MHRA/FDA-approved UK facilities, the new packaging facility will serve U.S. clients of Almac's pharmaceutical services business unit. Previously, the company had packaged products for U.S. customers from its UK facility.
David Downey, VP commercial operations for Almac, told PlasticsToday this strategic step will allow the company to offer packaging services to the local U.S. marketplace, while providing cost savings and mitigating supply chain risks.
"Clients can now leverage our expertise from a local U.S. based operation," he said. "In addition, the new U.S. facility is in somewhat of a hub for pharmacy."
The facility will support the packaging and labeling of both solid oral dose drug products and sterile biopharmaceutical products. Key pieces of technology include a "high-speed" blister line, a bottling line, and wallet presses, along with secondary labeling and packaging of biopharmaceutical products such as vials and ampoules, according to the company.
In addition, there will be teams for package design and artwork management and in-house tooling fabrication, Downey said. The facility will also offer refrigerated and controlled drug storage.
The facility is anticipated to open in Fall 2012, and will staff around 40 employees, with the potential to grow, Downey said.
"We are delighted to be able to invest in new facilities and establish operations in the U.S.," Graeme McBurney, Almac pharma services president and managing director, stated in a press release. "With the alignment of our packaging processes at both our UK and U.S. sites, we offer the highest levels of customer service and continuity of supply, through a flexible and quality lead operation."