raigavon, Northern Ireland-based Almac expects to fully occupy its new North American headquarters in
The US$120-million project, which began in summer 2008, involved two buildings. Building 1, a three-story, 74,250-sq.-ft. (6,897-sq.-m.) office building, will house administrative teams from Almac's Clinical Services, Clinical Technologies and Sciences business units. Key functional areas, which the company says are designed to enhance employee performance and meet customer needs, are also located in Building 1, including a network operation center, meeting rooms, staff breakout areas, customer audit rooms, training rooms, learning lab, library and a packaging design room.
Building 2 is a partial two-story, 166,135-sq.-ft. (15,433-sq.-m.) building custom built for the production, analysis and distribution of clinical supplies. Key features include greatly expanded capacity in material storage areas, the introduction of analytical labs to the
Almac selected the site in Souderton, which is about 30 miles (48 km.) north of
"We looked at the marketplace and we looked at where it is located," said Joe Bedford, Almac's director of marketing. "
Almac officials say the new facilities will consolidate its planning, packaging, distribution, analysis and technology operations and will also facilitate "Pharmony," a word the company coined to describe a streamlined approval process. Almac says the integration will make clinical trials more effective and more efficient.
Almac says the new facilities will provide increased storage space, a need which is sparked by current trends and forecasts in the pharmaceutical industry regarding the growing demand for biologics. Biologics, which are protein based, require cold storage to prevent degradation while "small-molecule" drugs (non-protein based) can be stored at room temperature.
"Much of the demand coming from customers has been in this area," said Mark Rohlfing, director of quality at Almac. "Our current cold storage capacity in Audubon was limited, hence the 400-percent increase in capacity. We have also built large cold stores at our other sites in recent years to support this change."
Almac has already begun the process of hiring 175 new employees. A strong labor pool in the region was another reason for choosing Souderton.
"There are a lot of talented professionals located in this area,"
"The completion of our new NAHQ facility will support our continuing business growth and better enable the fulfillment of Almac's mission to advance human health by bringing new drugs to market sooner," said Alan Armstrong, Almac's CEO.
Almac has also completed recent expansions at other locations. Earlier this year, it completed a £9-million (US$13.9-million) expansion to the company's existing facilities in Craigavon.
In late 2009, Almac completed a 67,000-sq.-ft. (6,224-sq.-m.) expansion to its
Almac is a privately held company and employs more than 2,600 people globally. It currently has more than 600 customers.