Belfast Telegraph

Almac's £8m project boosts research into ovarian cancer

By Clare Weir

The 'life sciences' sector has received another boost with news that an £8m research project from Craigavon firm Almac has revealed information that will improve ovarian cancer treatment.

Experts from the company studied molecular subgroups in various cancers.

Invest Northern Ireland provided £2.75m of support to the research and development project, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The announcement was made at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said that the Almac Group, which employs over 3,000 people, has been at the forefront of the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors for many years.

"Its research has resulted in a number of breakthrough developments and this latest achievement elevates the company further within the precision medicine arena," she said.

"The Northern Ireland Executive through its departments and Invest NI has supported the development of a strong and internationally recognised life sciences sector here.

"The sector includes a number of world-leading companies such as Almac and Randox as well as our world-class academic research centres.

"The benefits will include not only improvements in personalised cancer treatment but also significant savings to healthcare organisations around the world," she added.

Last week Almac announced a 30% rise in pre-tax profits to £19.2m in 2013. Turnover also increased, up by 8% from £300m to £325m.

Almac, which specialises in medical products and cancer diagnostics, was formed in 2002 by Sir Allen McClay, from Galen Holdings, which he founded in 1968.

Belfast Telegraph