Outsourcing-pharma.com spoke with Almac’s David Downey at CPhI 2011 in Frankfurt, Germany, who said that the investment Almac made in its plant in Craigavon, Northern Ireland late last month would allow the firm to take manufacturing projects from early development through to GMP.
“We what will do is double our footprint from a product development perspective…what this will allow us to do is work in a non-GMP environment, be very reactive and…then scale it up into a GMP environment.
He added that: “Currently we have challenges with the capacity we can allocate from the existing facility and that has very much driven the investment.”
Downey rejected the idea that European contractors need to make such investments in the face of competition from Asia, and instead argued that experience gives Western contract manufacturing organisations (CMOs) the edge.
“We face challenges from Asia and China now in terms of product development services, but I think for companies that are trying to do complex transfers, complex product development work really you want to be working with someone that understands and has good experience of what you are trying to achieve.
The investment in Craigavon is one of a number Almac has made over the last few weeks, the most recent of which was the addition of extra high potency active pharmaceutical ingredient (HPAPI) production capacity.