Almac Sciences Scales Up for Peptides

October 10, 2006

Almac Sciences Scales Up for Peptides

Almac Sciences (formerly CSS) has recently commissioned a £500,000 package of new assets at its Northern Ireland and Scottish sites for enhanced multi-kilo GMP production of peptides. The move completes capabilities for highly flexible, milligrams-to-kilos peptide manufacturing.

Building on major existing investment, the latest developments are a logical step for a company with a strong reputation in the synthesis of extremely long peptides and the GMP manufacture of small molecules.

The synthesis and purification techniques that the company has devised to make GMP peptides of up to 170 amino acids in length are now being applied to clinical trial candidates of any size.

New investment at the large scale, multi-product site at Craigavon, Northern Ireland has included automated peptide synthesis equipment, preparative HPLC and a freeze drying suite. New equipment for small scale peptide synthesis has also been added to the inventory of Almac Sciences’ production and R&D center near Edinburgh. The sites are served by a combined team of over 20 peptide scientists.

VP Commercial Operations Dr. David Moody commented: “This latest investment package marks a significant addition to our suite of peptide capabilities – taking Almac Sciences into the ‘GMP at any length and any scale’ class”.

The developments form the first major announcement by Almac Sciences (ICSE Stand 4E77) since its mid-year namechange – from CSS – under the re-branding of the Almac Group.

Almac Sciences’ Senior Business Manager for peptides programs, Denis Geffroy, commented: “This is a timely and important development for our customers. Application of Almac technology to the whole peptide space brings compelling quality, cost of goods and response time benefits to a new family of customers.”

Almac Sciences’ expanded range of peptide products and services includes:

A diverse range of site specifically labeled and native chemokines

Rapid supply of high quality custom peptides for antibody production

Mg to kilogram scale supply of custom peptides under GMP for clinical trials

Dr. Moody added: “This investment delivers our objective to provide customers with a mix of niche and mainstream offerings – from drug discovery stage services to large-scale production – between which they can make their own connections. The supply of peptide-cytotoxic conjugates is a recent example of this connected service in action.”

Previous 2006 developments:

The GMP peptide development is the latest in a series this year. Almac Sciences (when still CSS) introduced its Carbon-14 radiolabeling services commercially at InformexUSA in February. It can now radiolabel compounds at any stage between drug discovery and launch, including small molecules, peptides, oligos, cytotoxics and conjugates.

Also at Informex USA, the division launched its Chiral Building Blocks Package – which was further extended in April, just ahead of CPhI Japan, with the addition of (S)-Phenylbutyric acid.

The new range comes from the company’s work on bio-catalysis, both internally (Quinuclidinols) and in collaboration with IEP – covering Propylene Carbonate and Styrene Oxide, with Propylene Carbonate now ready for manufacture. These developments mark another success story for The Chiral Consortium, which the company co-founded in 2004. The other players are chemo-catalysis specialist ChiralQuest, of the US, and Germany’s bio-catalytic reduction technology leaders IEP.

Almac Sciences has a long established tradition in contract R&D, custom manufacturing, and analytical services. In recent years, this strong base has been augmented with speciality offerings; peptides, protein and oligo synthesis; cytotoxic and potent manufacturing; manufacture of chirals; radiolabeling – and now large scale GMP peptide manufacturing.


Notes for Editors:

Almac Sciences is part of the Almac Group, which comprises five closely integrated divisions offering a broad range of services from R&D, diagnostic/genomic services, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply and technology (IVRS/EDC), to commercial-scale manufacture. Almac provides services to over 600 companies including all the world leaders in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors.

Almac Sciences operates from a £25m 80,000 sq. ft. HQ and laboratory complex in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, with a production and R&D center near Edinburgh, Scotland. The business has over 200 employees, including 120 scientists.

Almac announced the re-branding of its five business divisions under the Almac brand name in mid-June 2006. In total, the Group employs 2,000 people in Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and the USA.

In addition to Almac Sciences, the divisions are now: Almac Clinical Services (formerly CTS) focused on preparation and management of clinical trial supplies; Almac Clinical Technologies (formerly ICTI), specializing in integrated technology and service solutions to accelerate clinical trials; Almac Pharma Services (formerly PDMS) providing formulation development through to commercial scale pharma manufacturing and Almac Diagnostic Services (formerly ArraDx), providing gene expression profiling and generation of novel diagnostic products to improve patient management.

For further information contact:

Dr. Rosaleen McGuckin

VP Business Development – Almac Sciences

Tel: +44 (0)28 3839 5830

Fax: +44 (0)28 3833 2299

[email protected]

[email protected]


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