SOMERSET, N.J. & GOSSELIES, Belgium—Catalent Inc. continues to boost its profile with the recent acquisition of MaSTherCell Global in an all-cash transaction. Catalent specializes in advanced delivery technologies, development and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, gene therapies and consumer health products, with an emphasis on “bringing more customer products to market faster, enhancing product performance and ensuring reliable global clinical and commercial product supply.”
MaSTherCell, in turn, has excelled in producing cell and gene therapies for leading biotech innovators using cGMP, working with cell therapy companies to accelerate the arrival of cell therapies to market. The completed deal, worth an aggregate $315 million in cash, is expected to help strengthen Catalent as a premier technology, development and manufacturing partner for innovators of advanced biotherapeutics.
“MaSTherCell extends our leadership position in the biotech industry, complements our leading gene therapy offering and allows us to deliver comprehensive development, manufacturing, analytical, fill-finish and clinical supply solutions for innovators across the large molecule space,” said John Chiminski, Catalent’s chair and CEO. “Both autologous and allogeneic cell therapies provide important new treatment options, with a rising number expected to gain regulatory approval over the coming years. Catalent is well positioned to combine MaSTherCell’s expert teams and capabilities with our extensive resources and experience in scaling new platforms, and to help MaSTherCell build-out its development and commercial manufacturing capabilities.”
MaSTherCell has been backed by healthcare investors Great Point Partners, federal-public Belgian holding company SFPI-FPIM, and contract development and manufacturing organization Orgenesis, Inc. Catalent financed the acquisition with the proceeds of an underwritten public offering of its common stock completed in February, and has agreed to retain MaSTherCell’s 240 employees, including its leadership team.
“MaSTherCell has built comprehensive capabilities to address the complexities of cell therapy production,” said Darren Head, MaSTherCell’s CEO. “Like Catalent, our experience has taught us the importance of technology selection, advanced know-how, and quality and regulatory expertise for successful cell therapy programs that are aimed at producing life-altering treatments. We are excited to join the industry-leading team at Catalent and work together to scale-up our business. This combination will strengthen our service offering to our customers and, in the end, benefit patients who need innovative life-saving therapies. Catalent’s backing will position MaSTherCell for growth and enhance Catalent’s existing presence in Belgium.”
MaSTherCell brings to the table a 25,000-square-foot facility in Belgium which provides clinical services, a commercial-scale production and fill-finish facility, and a 32,000-square-foot development-focused facility in Texas. As a press release reported, MaSTherCell has a growing customer base and offers a unique portfolio of capabilities and technologies that include the development and manufacture of autologous and allogeneic cell therapies, as well as a variety of related analytical services. Its experience includes therapies based on chimeric antibody receptor-engineered T cells, T cell receptors, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and mesenchymal stem cells. These assets will augment Catalent, which employs over 13,000 people at more than 35 facilities, including more than 2,400 scientists and technicians.
This is the latest in a recent string of high-profile partnerships at Catalent. In just the last months, they have announced high-profile advances regarding manufacturing partnerships with Zumutor Biologics Inc., producing ZM008 for the treatment of solid tumors; DiaMedica Therapeutics, for which it manufactures DM199 for chronic kidney disease; and ramping up production on Perrigo’s generic albuterol sulfate inhalation aerosol, the first AB-rated generic version of ProAir HFA inhalation aerosol. And, in Janaury, they announced the purchase of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s biologics, sterile and oral solid dose product manufacturing and packaging facility in Anagni, Italy.
Catalent has over 1,000 products in development at any time and boasts extensive partnerships with pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical companies of all sizes. As a global development and manufacturing partner that supplies medicines, clinical trial materials, and health products to millions of patients and consumers, it continues to seek new partnerships and new opportunities to continue its growth.