Catalent boosts biologics packaging with $14M investment at Indiana site
- Catalent Pharma Solutions plans to inject almost $14 million into its biologics manufacturing plant in Bloomington, Indiana — a decision made on the heels of regulators approving a 20th commercial product from the site.
- The money will fuel a 15,000-square-foot expansion that includes five new packaging suites and a new quality control laboratory. All told, the expansion should create about 36 jobs, according to Catalent.
- Completion of the project is slated for February 2019, and equipment will be installed and commissioned throughout the year.
Acquisitions have been good to Catalent. The Bloomington plant, for instance, became part of the company through its Cook Pharmica acquisition in September 2017. The $950 million deal brought on board 750 employees, an 875,000-square-foot manufacturing plant, as well as sterile formulation and fill/finish expertise.
According to Catalent's earnings call in August, the Indiana site was responsible for almost three-quarters of the 19% revenue growth in the biologics and specialty drug delivery segment in Catalent's 2018 fiscal year. More recently, Catalent's first quarter earnings showed 3% net revenue growth year over year that was driven by 13% growth from acquisitions.
Catalent is now expanding its Bloomington site, aiming to future-proof it and add flexibility, both important needs for contract manufacturers that are serving a growing need from biopharma companies. The focus of the expansion is packaging, with the addition of a semi-automated and a fully-automated top loading cartoner, an accessorized combination syringe assembly machine, an automated auto-injector assembly machine and two semi-automatic visual inspection machines.
"The packaging expansion will further enhance our comprehensive end-to-end offering for clinical and commercial customers," said Cory Lewis, vice president and general manager of the Catalent Biologics Drug Product business, in a Dec. 3 statement.
Like fellow contract development and manufacturing organizations, Catalent has been busy growing both in scale and services provided. In July, the company announced that it would acquire Juniper Pharmaceuticals, thereby building formulation development and clinical-scale oral dose manufacturing capabilities, as well as adding a site in Nottingham, U.K.
Its investments aren't just in the U.S. and Europe either. Last month, Catalent announced an investment of $2.5 million in a second clinical supply facility in China.
The growth may help Catalent overcome other obstacles in its business. Net revenue for its oral drug delivery segment, for example, declined year-on-year in fiscal 2018. There was also a 7% dip in fourth quarter revenue year over year for its softgel technologies segment. This latter reduction has been blamed, at least in part, on a shortage of ibuprofen active pharmaceutical ingredient.
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