Almac has addressed ongoing industry developments by greatly expanding their capacity in the New North American Headquarters. Increased storage space was sparked by current trends and forecasts in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically the growing demand for biologics.
Biologics, which are protein based, require cold storage to prevent degradation where as “small-molecule” drugs (non-protein based) can be stored at room temperature. Almac has made accommodations for growth by building a 271,000 cubic ft. 2-8°C cold storage facility.
“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% increase in capacity. We have also built large cold stores at our other sites in recent years to support this change.” According to a recent pharmaceutical publication, biologic ingredients are set to grow 12 - 15 percent per year to reach $12 billion by 2011. Industry analysts report that 6 of the top 10 drugs and half of the top 100 drugs in 2014 will be biologics, an approximate 2 fold increase from 2008.
Currently, Almac’s Audubon facility provides space for 400 pallets in the 2-8°C range while the new facility allows for up to 1600 pallets. Storage for 15 - 25°C products also expanded from 4200 to 6300 pallet spaces. A 6,131 cubic ft. storage unit for products between -25 to -15°C is also available, as well as mobile freezer units for products between -80 to -60°C.
Improvements are also significant in vault storage for Schedule I and II controlled substances. The vault is maintained at 15-25°C and encompasses 80,000 cubic feet, with enough racking space for 310 pallets. This is a vast increase from the current 170 pallet space offered in the Audubon facility.
A limited list of personnel will have access to this area and must pass DEA background checks. With levels of theft within the pharmaceutical industry on the rise, Almac took preventative measures by establishing multiple security systems. Examples include security coded doors, alarm systems, finger-print monitored access tools and motion censored cameras.
Expansion is allowing Almac to meet the needs of clients more efficiently. “With the increasing pressure to bring products to market faster, clients will find the increased capacity a true benefit,” said Dave Setley, Head of Business Development at Almac. “From the increase in storage capacity, to the additional packaging rooms and laboratory facility all located on a single site in North America our clients will find their packaging and distribution time streamlined. Pharmaceutical and Biotech clients will enjoy the benefits of a single site from day one when they are able to approve multiple vendor's i.e. packaging/distribution, analytical and IVRS all in one site visit.”
This increase in storage capacity is also evident across the Atlantic at the company’s EU headquarters which are located in Craigavon, Northern Ireland where 15000 square feet of 15 – 25°C storage space has been added offering an additional 625 pallet spaces.
Almac’s new headquarters is located at 25 Fretz Road, Souderton PA. Operations will transfer to the new facility during Fall 2010.