Almac secures Covid-19 recovery

Almac Sciences, a member of the Almac Group in Craigavon, has announced it has secured an award under ‘The Sustainable Innovation Fund: Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) phase 1’ to undertake a project in order to help UK businesses recover from the impact of Covid-19 in a sustainable manner.

By Claire Cartmill
Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 5:00 pm
Professor Tom Moody, VP Technology Development and Commercialisation, Almac Sciences and Arran Chemical Company (Ireland)
Professor Tom Moody, VP Technology Development and Commercialisation, Almac Sciences and Arran Chemical Company (Ireland)

The initiative is being led by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, and is a SBRI competition, which will fund organisations to develop and demonstrate new products or services to help businesses and/or the public sector in the UK recover from the coronavirus pandemic in a sustainable manner, demonstrating the impact and potential of a clean growth-led recovery and transition to net zero.

Professor Tom Moody, VP Technology Development and Commercialisation, Almac Sciences and Arran Chemical Company (Ireland), will lead a team of experts to complete the project entitled ‘Manufacturing Oxidative Products’ over the next three months. The funding received from the SBRI will enable the team to demonstrate both innovative flow chemistry and biocatalytic routes to oxidative products as a technology platform for exploitation by UK fine chemical and pharmaceutical industries.

The findings of the project will then be submitted to phase 2 of the Sustainable Innovation Fund and, if successful, could receive additional funding of up to £3 million over a 1-year period to continue the innovative research, development and testing.

Professor Moody said: “The team and I are excited to receive this phase I award from Innovate UK enabling us to conduct vital research into a sustainable method of manufacturing an adequate supply of oxidative products. The coronavirus pandemic has affected many businesses, and indeed individuals, across the world and we are proud to have been selected based on our expertise and capability, to play our part in the sustainable recovery process.”

Innovate UK Executive Chair Dr Ian Campbell continued: “In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation. The pandemic is not just a health emergency but one that impacts society and the economy. Almac’s project, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development. Each one is also helping to realise the ambitions of hard-working people.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an unexpected and unparalleled disruption to UK jobs, businesses, the economy at large and society in general. Recovering will take considerable time and ongoing investment, but the opportunity exists to recover in a sustainable way, resulting in increased prosperity with lower carbon emissions. This news comes just one month after Almac announced it 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.

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