- Almac Corp., a CDMO headquartered in the U.K., will invest £30 million pounds (roughly $42 million) to build out packaging and clinical supply facilities at its European campus located in Dundalk, Ireland.
- The company unveiled the planned expansion in a Jan. 18 release announcing the successful completion of an inspection by the Irish Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) of the Dundalk site.
- Anticipating disruption from the U.K.'s decision to leave the European Union, Almac said it will add a QC laboratory, commercial packaging facility and 79,000 square feet of space dedicated to supporting clinical supply. All told, the investment will triple the GMP-certified space at the Dundalk campus once on line.
Biopharma companies have been putting contingency plans in place ever since the U.K. surprised the world with its vote to break ties with the European Union. Trade groups representing the industry have warned a 'hard Brexit' — without any agreement to smooth the transition process — would risk disrupting the supply of thousands of drugs.
Pharma supply chains are global, but many firms have located manufacturing in the U.K. and Ireland to take advantage of the islands' proximity to the EU, experienced workforce and, in the case of Ireland, a low corporate tax rate.
Almac's announcement is a sign of how the suppliers that support drugmakers plan to adapt to a U.K. with closed borders to other EU countries.
"The announcement today of further expansion will ensure our current and future clients receive a seamless solution with access to the EU marketplace," said Almac CEO Alan Armstrong in a statement. "Crucially, this will ensure an uninterrupted service provision through any uncertainty Brexit may bring."
Dundalk is just 40 minutes down the road from Almac's global headquarters in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. Almac employs over 5,000 staff worldwide, covering business in diagnostics, API, clinical and pharma services.
Following the completion of HPRA inspections, Almac now awaits licensure to conduct QP batch certification and release for both clinical and commercial drug product from the Dundalk site.