Sector News

Catalent continues big push into cell and gene therapies with Belgian facility buyout

November 1, 2020
Life sciences

New Jersey CDMO Catalent has made waves the past couple years in the bustling cell and gene therapy space with a series of big acquisitions. After establishing a manufacturing foothold in Belgium as part of a $315 million deal earlier this year, Catalent is now picking up an adjacent site to add to its booming portfolio.

Catalent has acquired a 31,000-square-foot cell and gene therapy facility in Gosselies, Belgium, from Bone Therapeutics’ Skeletal Cell Therapy Support SA subsidiary to add to its growing “center of excellence” in the area, it said Thursday.

Once the $14 million buyout closes in November, Catalent will continue to produce Bone’s investigational cell therapy Allob on-site, and Catalent will add the employees there to its workforce. The facility houses quality control and development labs, warehouse space, grade C and B cleanrooms and “equipment as well as land for further development,” Catalent said.

Catalent is currently building a 60,000-square-foot commercial production and fill-finish facility adjacent to the Bone site and will pair the two to create a cell therapy “center of excellence” in Gosselies by the end of 2021, the company said.

The newest acquisition adds to Catalent’s growing presence in cell and gene therapy manufacturing, a notoriously expensive and time-consuming endeavor.

In September, Catalent outlined its plans to infuse $130 million into its cell and gene therapy manufacturing facility in Harmans, Maryland, to broaden the CDMO’s late-stage production capacity.

The newest investment will add five late-stage clinical and commercial manufacturing suites to the Harmans site, an expansion that will bring the total number of manufacturing suites to 15 at the planned 350,000-square-foot complex near the Baltimore/Washington International airport.

The Harmans facility recently received FDA approval for commercial production, and its initial 10 manufacturing suites are set to be fully operational by the first quarter of 2021.

The five new suites will be located in a second building at the site that will also house cold-storage warehousing and added office space, Catalent said. The Harmans complex is one of five Maryland sites for Catalent’s cell and gene therapy manufacturing portfolio.

Catalent is also working on building a 32,000 square-foot cell therapy development facility in Houston that is scheduled for completion by the end of the year.

Catalent acquired its in-the-works, 60,000-square-foot facility in Gosselies and the future Houston site as part of a $315 million buyout in February of Belgian CDMO MaSTherCell Global. That acquisition closed in the third quarter and added MaSTherCell’s three sites and about 240 employees to Catalent’s portfolio.

In April 2019, Catalent pulled off an even bigger buyout in the cell and gene therapy space, plopping down $1.2 billion for Paragon Bioservices. The purchase brought a completed commercial-scale manufacturing facility near Baltimore and 380 employees into the fold for Catalent.

by Kyle Blankenship

Source: fiercepharma.com

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