Demand for larger-scale, sustainable API manufacturing capacity is a key strategy driver for Almac if developments this week are an indication.
Almac has been busy. Earlier today the Northern Ireland-based contractor announced that the expansion of its Craigavon active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) plant is nearing completion and confirmed the site will be operational by the end of the year.
The firm - which began the expansion last year - has installed two 1,000 litre reactors and filter drying technology that gives it capacity to produce batch sizes of 150kg.
The idea is that the large-scale capacity will allow Almac to retain customers as their projects move from early-phase development to commercilisation, as VP of business development Denis Geffroy explained.
“Almac’s investment has further demonstrated our goal of being the outsourcing partner of choice through all stages of clinical development" he said, adding that “We are delighted to have the scale to share the manufacturing journey with our clients from preclinical phase to full commercialisation.”
DSM Pharma deal
News of the API expansion comes just a day after Almac announced that it has partnered with DSM Pharmaceutical Products - the contracting arm of Netherlands-based Royal DSM.
The collaboration will focus on biocatalysis, specifically the provision of sustainable API manufacturing technologies and services to the pharmaceutical industry. Under the accord - financial terms of which were not disclosed - Almac and DSM will grant each other access to their enzyme technology portfolios.
Almac's focus will be on identifying and scaling up production of the enzymes used in biocatalysis, while DSM will bring its multi-ton manufacturing capabilities to the table which is a combination the firms believe will provide a service that is both green and cost effective.
DPP CEO Alexander Wessels said: "Working with the Almac Group marks further advancement of DSM's stated strategy towards strategic partnerships to excel in providing new customer solutions.
This was echoed by Almac head of biocatalysis, Tom Moody, who said: "This collaboration has come at the right time as more and more customers need scalable green technologies to access difficult-to-make chiral chemicals.
"Having access to the right enzymes today will drive 'hit to process'. The introduction of enzymes into processes earlier in the drug discovery pipeline will therefore help to drive cost down as the projects move forward."