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Almac opens £6m packaging factory for its operation in US

Craigavon pharmaceutical firm Almac has opened a new £6m packaging factory in the US after passing an inspection by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The facility in Audubon, Pennsylvania, will package and label the company's US drug products and is expected to create new jobs both there and at the company's headquarters in Craigavon.

Bulk tablets and capsules will be manufactured in Northern Ireland for an existing client before being shipped to the US base where they'll be packaged in both bottle and blister packs.

"At our Craigavon site we provide integrated solutions for small scale pharmaceutical development and manufacturing of clinical trial drug product to large scale commercial manufacturing and packaging," David Downey, VP commercial operations, at Almac said.

"The establishment of our commercial packaging facility in the US now enables us to provide a local packaging solution for our US clients."

The news follows the recent announcement of the completion of Almac's new £6.5m facility in Craigavon. Focusing primarily on the development of tablet and capsule formulations for new drugs at early stages of development, the "non-GMP" facility effectively doubles Almac's current development capacity.

Jim McGibbon, US director of business development, said: "This is a significant first contract for the Audubon facility making in excess of four million finished medicine packs per year."

Belfast Telegraph