The BABC of Greater Philadelphia serves the tristate region – Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and the State of Delaware. There are 22 BABC chapters throughout the world, with more than 2,000 members. Our mission is to “connect the dots” – facilitate introductions between executives to assist in building valuable business ties. On Tuesday, February 14, 2017 the BABC collaborated with corporate member Almac Group to bring club level member American Airlines’ cargo team executives for a presentation and private tour of Almac’s US headquarters state of the art facility in Souderton, PA.
The Almac Group is a privately held contract development and manufacturing organization that provides an extensive range of integrated services globally to companies within the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. Almac’s global headquarters are based in Craigavon, Northern Ireland and has additional operations throughout the UK, Ireland, across the US (Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California) and Asia (Singapore and Tokyo). The organization has been established for almost 50 years and is currently celebrating its twentieth anniversary in Pennsylvania now employing approximately 1,200 people in the State and almost 5,000 worldwide.
Mark Weir, Almac’s US Group Financial Controller has been actively involved with the BABC since he assumed the role with the Company more than five years ago. Jane Rosenberg, Executive Director of the BABC worked with Mark to execute this informative meeting and tour. Mark provided a comprehensive overview of Almac’s history, presence throughout the world, and US operation. His presentation laid the framework for the tour of the physical plant. George Tiger, Vice President, Global Business Development, Almac’s Clinical Technologies Business Unit talked about the Company’s most recent launch (late January) of the Next Generation Temperature Management software – TempEZ™. This product offers unrivalled end-to-end drug product visibility, blazing a trail for innovation in this industry.
Almac delivers the most comprehensive range of integrated drug development services available to the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry. Services range from R&D, companion diagnostics, biomarker discovery and development, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply, IRT through to commercial-scale manufacture. Sir Allen McClay (Allen, as he preferred to be called) founded his first company, Galen Ltd, in 1968. Galen floated on the stock market in 1997 and subsequently became Northern Ireland’s first £1 billion company. However, around the year 2000 the direction of the company changed and took a different path to Allen’s vision. Allen realized his substantial shareholding and formed, with his personal wealth, the organization we now known as Almac. As part of Allen’s generosity he established the McClay Foundation as a charitable institution. The Foundation has already surpassed donating more than £20 million to enhance the research capabilities at the Queen’s University Belfast. Allen typically referred to the organization he built as the “Almac family.” Despite operating across the Atlantic Ocean from the parent company, the Almac executives we met attested to the greatest tribute that Almac, as a company, will pay to Allen continuing with his passion and delivering on his vision: “To be the leader in the generation of superior solutions for the advancement of human health.”
Mark Rohlfing, Vice President of Operations, Almac Clinical Services spent a couple of hours guiding us through the facility, demonstrating product lifecycle from laboratory testing, through to packaging and shipping, to the end user. Our visit, starting in the Boardroom and ending in the storage/shipping division, literally walked us through product development. The beautiful campus, employing more than 1,000 people is just a few years old. Each time we crossed paths with an Almac employee, across various levels and business units, they were just as kind looking, happy and cheerful as the Irish countryside canvases lining the walls. The bright, new, modern buildings make effective use of all space and give it a European feel right here at home in Pennsylvania. The BABC is honored to work with companies like Almac and American Airlines with operations spanning the globe. It is our job to facilitate meetings that enable our members to create worthwhile connections to enhance business.
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