Catalent, the high-flying CDMO, is buying a cell therapy unit on the East Coast, only days after spending $350 million to strengthen up biologics production in Indiana.
Catalent announced on April 25th that it had paid $44.5 million for Erytech Pharma’s commercial cell treatment plant in Princeton, New Jersey. Catalent will contribute to the long-term supply of Erytech’s principal product candidate, eryaspase (also known as Graspa), which is being developed for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. According to the company, all employees from the Erytech facility will join the Catalent team.
As per Catalent, the 30,900-square-foot facility includes 16 production suites as well as labs for analytical, quality control, and microbial testing. Catalent intends to turn the facility into a “strategic campus” where it will develop and manufacture cell therapies on a clinical and commercial scale. The Princeton site is conveniently located near Catalent’s Baltimore facilities, where the company develops as well as manufactures viral vectors and plasmid DNA, which are critical components in many cell and gene therapies.
According to Catalent, the site will function in combination with the company’s clinical-scale cell therapy unit in Houston.
Catalent has also secured a lease for a 23,000-square-foot facility adjacent to the plant that might be used for additional lab or production space. It’s also scooped up another structure in University Square Campus Park in Princeton for future development.
Catalent will assist Erytech in the development of its pipeline of encapsulated red-blood-cell-based medicines, which it is exploring against serious forms of cancer and orphan disorders, in addition to Erytech’s red blood cell candidate Graspa, the firms said.
Catalent’s professional and qualified staff are already employed at the facility, and the skills it has in place and the ability to rapidly add additional space on the same site allow it to grow significantly, creating a U.S. campus and centre of excellence for cell therapy design and manufacturing that will serve customers around the world, said President of Catalent cell and gene therapy, Manja Boerman, Ph.D.
Catalent has six cell and gene therapy facilities, including locations in Maryland and Texas, as well as Belgium and Germany. According to the CDMO, the facilities range from small-to large-scale clinical and commercial production through fill and finish.
The factory purchase comes on the heels of Catalent’s decision to expand its manufacturing operations in the United States. Last week, the company announced plans to invest $350 million in its Bloomington, Indiana facility to improve biologics operations and create more than 1,000 jobs.
Catalent has also acquired a biologics design and manufacturing centre near Oxford, UK, and in mid-March completed a $30 million upgrade at its Limoges, France, facility.