Almac Group awarded $500k grant to produce Covid-19 treatment drug

  • Almac Sciences, a member of the Craigavon-headquartered Almac Group, has been awarded a grant of $500,000 by the Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator towards developing cost effective, scalable processes for the production of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) of the drug remdesivir.

    Remdesivir, an antiviral medication, is the first drug to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for Covid-19 after a trial showed it cut recovery time by five days.

    In order to ultimately lower raw material usage, increase global yields and lower the overall cost of goods (COG) for the remdesivir development process, Almac Sciences has devised a plan to improve the overall route of synthesis to remdesivir including application of synthetic flow methodology and biocatalysis.

    This investment supports efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic through the rapid process development and manufacturing of remdesivir.

    RELATED: Almac ranked number 5 on Ulster Business top 100 companies list

    “We are delighted to receive funding from the Therapeutics Accelerator to apply our skills in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr Stefan Mix, Head of Biocatalysis, Almac Sciences.

    “With the skillset of our multidisciplinary teams, we are confident that our developmental approach to the manufacture of remdesivir will positively impact patients’ lives who in urgent need, regardless of their location.”

    “This project highlights Almac’s strength in technology deployment through application of both innovative flow chemistry and biocatalysis technologies to support development of processes which are economical, greener and safer to perform.” says Prof Tom Moody, VP of Technology Development and commercialisation at Almac Sciences and Arran Chemical Company.

    The Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator is an initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and Mastercard, with funding from an array of public and philanthropic donors to speed up the response to the Covid-19 pandemic by funding the identification, assessment, development and scale up of treatments.

    This news comes just six months after Almac announced it was supporting two Covid-19 clinical studies in Sub-Saharan Africa through a grant also awarded from the Covid-19 Therapeutics Accelerator.

    RELATED: Almac Group continues to offer Higher Level Apprenticeships

    Source: Written from press release

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