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Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell lauds pharmaceutical firm Almac for NI contribution

By Margaret Canning

Craigavon pharmaceutical firm Almac was praised for its contribution to the economy during a visit by Enterprise Minister Jonathan Bell.

The Minister also congratulated Almac for its recent UKTI Award for Innovation at the European Business Awards.

Almac employs 2,400 people in Craigavon in drug development and commercial services. Its services include research and development, drug discover and diagnostics.

It opened new Asia Pacific offices in Singapore last month.

Mr Bell said the firm was a leading light in the life sciences sector in Northern Ireland, which he said employed over 7,500 people and was responsible for exports of over £900m a year. "The Almac Group plays a significant part in this success. Headquartered in Craigavon, with operations across the US and in Asia, Almac makes an important contribution to both the local economy in Co Armagh and the wider Northern Ireland economy," he said.

He added that the company had enjoyed year-on-year growth since it was founded in 2002 by the late Sir Allen McClay, who founded Galen Ltd.

Mr Bell said: "With a proven record in delivering against job creation targets in investment projects, they can truly be seen to be one of our home-grown success stories."

Almac's market is divided between North America, which accounts for 45% of the market, with 50% in Western Europe.

It also has major operations in North America, including headquarters in Pennsylvania.

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