Catalent’s Paragon plans second plant to support Sarepta pipeline

Fresh from an acquisition agreement by Catalent, Paragon Bioservices is seeking to establish a second manufacturing plant dedicated to produce Sarepta Therapeutics’ gene therapy pipeline.

Last week, contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Catalent agreed to acquire gene therapy maker Paragon for $1.2 billion (€1.1 billion).

Within hours of the announcement Paragon, with Catalent’s backing, said it is seeking to establish a second manufacturing facility at its site in Anne Arundel County, Maryland for the dedicated production of Sarepta gene therapies.

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Sarepta has used Paragon for its viral vector needs for several years, but last October the firms expanded the partnership with Paragon charged with providing additional commercial manufacturing capacity for Sarepta’s micro-dystrophin Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) gene therapy candidate. The deal also included Paragon providing a manufacturing platform for its future gene therapy programs, such as Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD).

The additional facility will be the latest addition at Paragon’s Maryland campus. In January 2018, the firm announced it was expanding its process development and cGMP manufacturing facility to add a 150,000 square-foot facility equipped with 500 L and 2,000 L single-use bioreactors.

“With the recent grand opening of our new manufacturing facility, the expansion of our relationship with Sarepta, and the anticipated transaction with Catalent, Paragon is positioned to be the premier leader in gene therapy manufacturing,” Paragon’s CEO Pete Buzy said.

Sarepta’s CEO Douglas Ingram added: “We are excited to begin work on this new venture with Paragon and ultimately Catalent. Sarepta has had a long and fruitful relationship with both Paragon and Catalent, one of Sarepta’s current PMO [packaging manufacturing organization] drug manufacturers, and we are particularly pleased to expand our relationship with both companies.”

According to Sarepta’s reports, the firm also works with CDMO’s Aldevron and Brammer Bio. Brammer is set to be acquired by Thermo Fisher, following a $1.7 billion deal last month.

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