The introduction of a new laboratory to the NorthStar Cork offices sparked significant interest and curiosity across both the NorthStar team and the wider McKesson team who are also located in the same campus building in Cork. Integrating with our existing operational activity might not be straightforward as we transition from a virtual manufacturing based location to one receiving product to site and perform testing across the wide ranging NorthStar portfolio including multiple different pharmaceutical dosage forms.
Preliminary work began on the laboratory early 2017 with the aim of understanding the requirements, cost estimates and potential equipment needs to meet our due diligence quality requirements. The green light was provided in November 2017 to proceed with capital appropriation approval; this was received on 1st December 2017. The plan was for the laboratory to be construction complete by 1st April 2018, allowing four months to design, plan, construct, fit out and begin equipment installation. In the same time, we recruited and onboarded a new team of highly skilled and experienced QC laboratory personnel. Equipment qualification has been performed and preliminary method development activities have taken place in preparation for the planned go-live in Q3 FY19.
The introduction of the NorthStar laboratory has already proven to be successful, engaging current employees to prepare for new activities, completing fit out and qualification activities in record time and rolling out requirements for suppliers to support our new quality activity. The laboratory is primed for future success, providing operational benefits and further quality oversight for the product we source and distribute for the US Market.
The quality team and wider departments within NorthStar and across the broader McKesson enterprise gave stellar support in making sure that the project met the tight deadlines to be operational in FY19. To successfully design and build a laboratory from the ground up, we drew on our unique NorthStar values of securing success through execution, agility and our unwavering growth mind-set. Together, we now have an excitement and pride in our changing business model.
I would like to thank the NorthStar team for their sterling efforts in getting the laboratory to its current state in such a short period – our ICARE and ILEAD values continue to serve us well in realizing our mission of enabling better health.