Almac Sciences, a member of the Almac Group, has received a $500,000 grant from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator. The funding is intended to go toward development of cost-effective, scalable processes for producing the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) of the drug remdesivir.
Remdesivir is the first drug to receive the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval as a treatment for COVID-19. With the help of the grant funding, Almac Sciences plans to improve the overall route of synthesis, in order to lower raw material usage, increase global yields and lower the overall cost of goods in development.
An Almac Group spokesperson told Outsourcing-Pharma that the grant is the latest in a list of partnerships with various global pharmaceutical, biotech and research institutions that support crucial research projects into COVID-19 treatment options.
“The Group is supporting this urgent research need through a range of service areas, including analytical services, peptide development, expedited Interactive Response Technology (IRT) support and clinical trial manufacturing, packaging and distribution,” they said.
Stefan Mix, head of biocatalysis with Almac Sciences, said the company welcomes the opportunity to help in the battle against COVID-19.
“With the skillset of our multidisciplinary teams, we are confident that our developmental approach to the manufacture of remdesivir will positively impact patients’ lives who in urgent need, regardless of their location,” he said.
“This project highlights Almac’s strength in technology deployment through application of both innovative flow chemistry and biocatalysis technologies to support development of processes which are economical, greener and safer to perform,” added Tom Moody, vice president of technology development and commercialization with Almac Sciences and Arran Chemical.
The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator is a collaborative project backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard, with funding funneled from a broad range of public and philanthropic donors. The project brings together life-sciences professionals from a variety of organizations (including pharmaceutical firms such as Merck, Novartis, GSK and others) to help bolster global response to the COVID-19 pandemic by funding the identification, assessment, development and scale up of treatments.