Drugs firm Almac is the latest Northern Ireland company to open offices in Asia – where 15% of all clinical trials are conducted.
Staff from the Craigavon-based business will be based at the new facilities in Singapore and Japan to apply knowledge gained from managing more than 10,000 pharmaceutical trials around the world.
Almac has been operating for 30 years and now employs over 3,300 staff, with operations in Northern Ireland and across the USA, in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California, with around 95% of business coming from outside the UK
The new offices will enable the company to expand its services and capabilities in a rapidly growing market.
The company has also announced that it will open a new secondary packaging facility in Singapore by the end of 2014.
The news came as the BioPharma Asia Convention in Singapore – Asia's largest and most strategic biopharmaceutical event, being attended by almost 3,000 key stakeholders from across the globe – took place. Almac's chief executive Alan Armstrong said that setting up new hubs in Singapore and Japan was a significant step forward for Almac.
"With 15% of all clinical trials conducted in Asia, it's imperative that we provide localised service and support to the sponsors of these trials," he said.
"We've long managed clinical trials on a global basis, but there's now sufficient critical mass that requires we establish dedicated resources in the region."
He added: "I'm pleased that our international expertise and global capabilities are now even more accessible to sponsors in this critically-important part of the world, and look forward to opening our new packaging facility later this year."
What does Almac do?
The Almac Group develops, manufacture and tests drugs on contract for pharmaceutical and biotech companies around the world. It is a privately owned organisation which has grown organically over 30 years and now employs more than 3,300 people. Almac is headquartered in Craigavon with operations across the US (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California) and in Asia (Singapore and Tokyo).