Catalent shells out $230m to expand US gene therapy plant

Catalent will add three additional commercial-scale viral vector manufacturing suites at its gene therapy campus in Harmans, Maryland.

The latest investment at contract development manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent’s Harmans campus includes the construction of three additional multi-room commercial suites, as well as expanding storage capabilities for ultra-low temperature freezers, just-in-time inventory space,  and its water-for-injection infrastructure.

“This latest expansion is to meet growing customer demand and is in anticipation of continued interest and growth in AAV and other gene therapies,” Colleen Floreck, VP of Global Marketing and Strategy at Catalent Cell and Gene Therapy, told BioProcess Insider.

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Once the expansion is completed in 2022, the Harman’s site will have a total of 18 viral vector manufacturing suites, which Catalent has designed to accommodate several bioreactors up to 2,000 L scale and support commercial manufacturing from cell bank through to purified drug substance.

Floreck said the 18-suite campus gives the CDMO “synergies, shared services, and a wealth of commercial manufacturing expertise at one site.”

This is the latest investment at the site after the firm invested $130 million in September 2020 to add five Phase III through to commercial-scale manufacturing suites.

700 jobs

The CDMO said that over the next six years it anticipates adding 700 positions at the campus in technical, scientific, and operational disciplines.

The firm has already began the recruitment process and has “found that people with the skills necessary are enthusiastic to join a company such as Catalent with a strong ‘patient-first’ ethos,” said Floreck.