Catalent has wrapped up its $1.2bn acquisition of Maryland-based gene therapy contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) Paragon Bioservices.
The all-cash deal between Catalent and Paragon, which was signed in April 2019, was completed after meeting of customary closing conditions such as the expiration of the waiting period under the US antitrust laws among others.
Headquartered at the University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore, Paragon is engaged in viral vector development and manufacturing for gene therapy companies. The company’s currently workforce of more than 380 people located at its two Baltimore-area sites will become part of the existing Catalent team of more than 11,000 employees.
Paragon specialises in adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, which are considered to be the most preferred vector to inject DNA to cells. The CDMO is also said to have capabilities in GMP plasmids and lentivirus vectors.
Catalent believes that the addition of this capability from the Maryland firm will help its position in tapping on strong industry tailwinds in the market for gene therapies.
The gene therapy CDMO is also expected to provide Catalent its scientific, development, and manufacturing capabilities, which will essentially improve the latter’s biologics business and end-to-end integrated biopharma solutions for customers.
The CDMO’s services include process development, GMP manufacturing, aseptic fill/finish, analytical development, master/working cell and virus banks, and also stability studies.
Recently, the company opened a commercial manufacturing centre in Baltimore, which is equipped with 500-litre and 2,000-litre single-use bioreactors serving clinical through commercial material production.
Last month, the CDMO said that it is exploring a partnership in gene therapy manufacturing with Sarepta Therapeutics to establish additional dedicated facilities for manufacturing the latter’s gene therapy candidates.
Catalent, in a statement, said:
“Paragon has GMP manufacturing projects underway with more than half of the top 40 leading gene therapy developers worldwide. Catalent is committed to continuing the resource dedication for Paragon’s customers and maintaining a flexible and reliable development and manufacturing partnership for its clients.”
Earlier this year, Catalent announced an investment of $200m to expand its biologics capacity and capabilities. The company provides advanced delivery technologies and development solutions for drugs, biologics and also consumer health products.