AlmacAlmac Group, the global contract pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organization is excited to announce ambitious plans to expand its operations in Europe and North America increasing its global headcount to reach 5000 by 2017.

As part of its ongoing global growth strategy and in response to increased client demand for its range of services the organisation will invest a further £20 million at Almac’s US headquarter site in Souderton, Pennsylvania, USA, to expand its existing 240,000 square-foot facility in addition to leasing a 26,000 square-foot office space in nearby Lansdale.

The expansion project will create 312 new, full-time jobs across a wide range of functions and increases capabilities for its Sciences, Clinical Services, Clinical Technologies and Pharma Services businesses. The company received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development comprised of a £1.3 million Pennsylvania First Programme grant and involves substantial investment in new machine lines, computer equipment, software and an expanded cold storage area.

The company is also investing in the region of £5 million to build an additional laboratory and office facility at its global headquarters site in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. Around 170 existing employees will be transferred to the new building, many of whom are chemists and analysts involved in supporting drug research, development and manufacture.

An additional £2 million is being invested in the development of the Arran Chemical Company facility in Athlone, Ireland, which was acquired by Almac last year. The capital project is enabling an upgrade of the existing site infrastructure and brings additional manufacturing capacity and assets on stream as well as more distillation and drying capabilities. Together, the expansion plans facilitates significant growth of the Almac Sciences business, which is vital to meet ongoing demand for its innovative API and chemical development services, with global headcount within this Business Unit alone expected to reach over 500 by next year – more than double its figure just 3 years ago.

In total, the Almac Group employs over 4600 staff globally and is set to reach 5000 by the end of 2017.

Secretary Dennis M. Davin from the Pennsylvanian Department of Community and Economic Development announced Almac’s plans during a visit to its North American Headquarter facility on Thursday 10 November. This announcement comes just weeks after the company announced a £4.2 million expansion at its facility in North Carolina.

Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf welcomed the news: “In 2007, Almac Group invested $100 million, retained 495 jobs, and created another 264 jobs, when it successfully established its U.S. headquarters in Pennsylvania,” said Governor Wolf. “Since then, we’ve seen Almac Group’s significant contributions to the economic vitality of the region as a major player in southeastern Pennsylvania’s strong biopharma industry, and we look forward to its continued success as it once again chooses Pennsylvania for its operations expansion.”

Alan Armstrong, CEO Almac Group, commented: “Owing to significant industry demand for our services, it is essential we build capacity and increase headcount to ensure we continue to compete at a global level. This year we are celebrating our twentieth year in the US and we are excited to make a further commitment within the Pennsylvania State and throughout North America. We are also delighted to announce our further expansion plans across Europe as we continue to build upon our tremendous global success and we are looking forward to an exciting future.”