April 26, 2012
Almac Rewarded for Excellence in Technology
Almac has been recognised for its cutting edge technological developments, scooping a top award at the recent Belfast Telegraph Northern Ireland Business Awards 2012, in association with British Midland International (bmi).
The Craigavon-based pharmaceutical development company collected the Excellence in Technology award at a ceremony held at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, Shaw’s Bridge, Belfast to reward the best of Northern Ireland’s business community across 12 categories.
Almac has developed new technology which sets it apart in a difficult chemical market which is under threat from Asia. Almac’s Sciences Business Unit has set up a dedicated group for discovering and implementing effective processes for biocatalysis – enzymes which effect desired chemical transformations.
The biocatalysis group has doubled since it was established in 2009 to become an integral part of the company. Almac’s growth in this area has been further enhanced by a £2.5m research and development investment, supported by INI, and the subsequent launch of a biocatalyst technology platform, SelectAZyme™ brand.
Almac is currently collaborating with institutions including Queen’s University Belfast and University College London in a bid to ultimately discover new catalysts with unique properties while providing industrial training opportunities for students and graduates.
The Almac team collected the award from Scott Kennedy, a director and head of the Intellectual Property and Technology team at category sponsor Cleaver Fulton Rankin Solicitors.
Stephen Barr, Managing Director of the Almac’s Sciences Business Unit, said: “Winning this award is recognition that we are at the forefront of technological advances in our field.
“Our unique technology is used in a range of applications from medicinal chemistry to the manufacture of specialist chemicals. It has enabled Almac to enter into complementary industries including flavour and fragrances and biofuel arenas.
“It has a positive environmental impact as it promotes the use of green, renewable clean catalysis and helps lower costs, reduce waste and increase productivity.”
Alastair Hamilton, chief executive of Invest NI, and a member of the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards judging panel said: “Companies which adopt and embrace technology as an integral part of their business model tend to be those which drive growth and success. Each of the shortlisted companies in this category has demonstrated excellence in technology in their own way. However, for its use of new technology to fuel its growth and become a world leader in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, the panel concluded that Almac is this year’s worthy winner.”
Brenda Morgan, Sales Manager Ireland at title sponsor bmi, added: ”Within the annual business calendar there is no other event to equal the impact of the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards. The event provides the business community with the opportunity to share and celebrate the importance and impact of business excellence.
“This year’s awards ceremony highlighted that Northern Ireland is in business, not just business as usual, but business that is competitive and competing on a world stage. The 2012 winners reflect the range and diversity of outstanding business success both at home and abroad. There is a very clear message – the Northern Ireland business community are alive and well and are succeeding in one of the most difficult economic climates for many years.”
Notes to Editors
The Almac Group provides a broad range of services from R&D, biomarker discovery and development, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply and IXRS® technology (IVRS/IWRS), to commercial-scale manufacture. Almac provides services to more than 600 companies, including all the world leaders in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. The company employs over 3,300 and is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. US operations are based in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California.