HP software accelerates drugs rollout for NI pharmaceuticals firm


6 Apr 2009

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A multimillion pound investment by NI-headquartered Almac Group in Hewlett-Packard (HP) software has accelerated the release of new drugs to the marketplace.

The investment by Almac Group in HP technology, including test applications software known as HP Quality Center software, has resulted in significant advancements in the speed at which clinical trials can be completed.

It will mean that trials for potentially life-saving drugs, such as the treatment of cancer and associated illnesses, will be accelerated using HP’s software.

Almac chairman Sir Allen McClay said that the new technology will help speed the move from innovation to clinical practice, resulting in significant market advantage and enhanced competitiveness for the company’s customers.

“We are continually looking for opportunities to reduce the time during which a drug is in the clinical trial stages of development,” McClay said. “This enables our customers to get their products on the shelves quicker. By using HP technology, we have fused our strengths with HP’s to create value for our customers across the world.

“Over the past 15 years, our relationship with HP has extended far beyond hardware and software; we are engaging with people who can bring innovative technology solutions to science and produce something mutually beneficial,” McClay added.

The new HP toolset and automated testing processes will significantly accelerate the complex software compliance and validation process involved in the drug development process.

“HP has produced a tailored software system that enables Almac to shorten the validation aspects of software development supporting clinical trials, ensuring that it can meet manufacturing best practice globally,” HP Ireland country manager Martin Murphy explained.

“Shortening that cycle, even by a week, can have a huge impact on the sponsor’s bottom line.”

Almac is now part of a small number of companies globally to have achieved full Pharmaceutical Validation for HP Quality Center software, enabling it to automate its approach to software validation and testing.

In a separate development, and as part of Almac’s ongoing relationship with HP, it has invested £0.5m sterling in a replicated HP XP Storage Array solution, the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.

This will provide Almac with a scaleable data storage solution, enabling it to respond to the demands of the business for the next five years.  

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Martin Murphy, managing director of HP Ireland, joins Almac chairman, Sir Allen McClay, at Almac’s labs to discuss the new revolutionary HP software, which will produce significant savings for the company