The Almac Group, a global provider of drug development services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, on Wednesday, May 18 celebrated the official grand opening of its new North American Headquarters in Souderton, PA.
The $120 million, 240,000-square-foot new North American headquarters houses more than 800 employees and has already brought approximately 300 new hires to the greater Philadelphia region. With global headquarters in Craigavon, Northern Ireland, Almac employs more than 3,000 worldwide, with over 1,100 employees based in the U.S.
Officially opening the building was former U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell, who was Chairman of the historic 1998 Northern Ireland Peace Agreement. Until last week, Mitchell served as President Obama’s Special Envoy to the Middle East.
Commenting on the new facility, Mitchell said, “Almac’s Founder Sir Allen McClay had a real vision for this company, and the building we are dedicating today will be a fitting monument to his life and work. This facility will be important not only to the economy of Pennsylvania, but to the health of people all over the world.”
In addition to Senator Mitchell, several other dignitaries participated in the grand opening. These include Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker, who attended on behalf of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett, and Almac CEO Alan Armstrong.
“Because of our commitment to companies like Almac, Pennsylvania is recognized as a bio-pharmaceutical leader and a hub of ground-breaking research and innovative companies that are making incredible advances,” said Walker. “Almac’s new North American headquarters represents the largest investment Northern Ireland has made in the United States.”
He continued, “As a biomedical and pharmaceutical leader, Almac will continue to be instrumental in developing and delivering innovative health solutions to people worldwide.”
Almac CEO Alan Armstrong added, “Sir Allen McClay once said, ‘If you’re going to launch a big ship, you have to go where the water is deep.’” “He loved growth, development, success and quality. And we'll see all of that in this building.”
Lady Heather McClay, wife of the late Sir Allen McClay, dedicated three unique pieces of stained glass commissioned especially for the headquarters. She said, “The installation is a wonderful tribute to Allen’s achievements and of those he called the ‘Almac family.’ We are honored to be joined by Senator Mitchell as someone who has played a key role in moving Northern Ireland into a new era. His work as Chancellor of Queen’s University Belfast makes his presence here today particularly fitting as that institution was very close to Allen’s heart.”
The glass works, designed to represent Almac’s growth into a world leader in advancing human health, are interwoven with scientific references, symbols associated with Northern Ireland, as well as images from the official crest of Pennsylvania.
Almac’s new North American headquarters, comprised of a three-story office and administration building, as well as a building for the production, analysis and distribution of clinical trial supplies, was designed by Francis Cauffman Architects of Philadelphia and built by Skanska USA. It strives to maintain sustainability throughout, with low greenhouse gas emissions and a full water reclamation program in place.