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Almac invests $10m in US packaging site

By Gareth Macdonald , 12-Mar-2012
Last updated on 12-Mar-2012 at 14:59 GMT

Almac says high-speed lines at its newly expanded US contract packaging facility will help it be cost competitive.

The contract manufacturer has invested $10m (€7.6m) to increase capacity at the 100,000sqft primary and secondary packaging services site in Audubon, Pennsylvania, which is due to come online this autumn. Almac will also be expanding its workforce.

A spokesman told Outsourcing-pharma.com that: “Almac will be adding a range of state of the art packaging equipment for the packaging and labelling of both solid oral dose drug products and sterile biopharmaceutical presentations.

Key pieces of technology purchased include a high-speed blister line, a bottling line, walleting presses and a vial ampoule labelling line.” 

The idea – the spokesman continued - is to create a packaging services base that is closer to North America customers than Almac’s facility in Craigavon, Northern Ireland where the firm currently does the majority of its packaging production. 

The new facility will be utilised by both new and existing clients. Existing US clients will have the opportunity to transfer the commercial packaging of their drug products to the new facility for local US supply.”

Costs

However, although the additional capacity in the US may be of benefit to customers based in the country, Almac’s ability to operate the facility at a competitive rate is closely linked to the technology it will install according to the spokesperson. 

The cost base in the US is actually slightly higher than the UK. However as we have invested in high speed lines, we will seek to be as competitive as possible on costs, passing these benefits onto our Clients.” 

Almac last expanded its contract packaging capacity in January when the firm opened a new supplies centre at its HQ in Craigavon to coordinate the distribution of clinical trial materials to its 32 depots around the world.

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