Catalent to invest up to $10m into ex-BMS fill/finish site

Catalent will retain all 700 staff and invest up to $10 million into a site in Italy it is acquiring from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The deal, announced this week, will see the contract development and manufacturing organization expand its biologics network outside of the US through the addition of a sterile product manufacturing and packaging facility in Anagni, Italy.

Financial details regarding Catalent’s first biologics manufacturing facility in Europe have not been divulged, but a spokesperson told this publication the CDMO intends to expand the site further.

The Anagni, Italy plant will be acquired by CDMO Catalent. Image: Google

“Catalent is planning to invest a further $5-$10 million in the site’s growth, on top of significant recent investments by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Catalent is not disclosing further details of these investments at this time and cannot until the deal closes.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2019.

Adding BMS as a client and retaining 700 staff

The plant, located about 40 km east of Rome, brings Catalent’s biologics customers access to sterile drug product fill/finish and packaging capacity in Europe.

“The site’s capabilities include sterile vial and powder filling, oral solid dose manufacturing, new product launches and biologics and small molecule packaging, including dedicated suites with containment capabilities appropriate for aseptic fill/finish and capabilities in sterile vial and powder filling,” the spokesperson said.

“The Anagni facility provides customers with access to a world-class team and facility for late-stage development programs, tech transfers and commercial launches. In addition to the host of oral dose manufacturing capabilities and turnkey packaging solutions including robust serialization, onboarding processes and capabilities at the site, Anagni adds vial capabilities to Catalent’s existing drug product fill/finish offering for biologic programs in Europe.”

One of the plant’s customers will be former owner Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), as under terms of the deal Catalent will continue to manufacture the Big Biopharma’s products from the site.

Catalent will also retain all 700 employees at the facility, the spokesperson confirmed.

Expanding network

Traditionally a small molecule encapsulating services firm, Catalent has invested heavily in its biologics offerings over the past decade.

The CDMO opened a single-use drug substance site in Madison, Wisconsin in 2013, and in 2017 acquired Cook Pharmica for $950 million, adding an 875,000 square foot development and manufacturing facility in Bloomington, Indiana.

Most recently, the firm entered the gene therapy space through the $1.2 billion acquisition of Paragon Bioservices.

With Paragon, the CDMO now estimates biologics will jump from roughly 26% of its total business to 31%, and as customer demand in the space grows and new capabilities come online the large molecule business mix will push towards 50% of overall revenues.

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