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Adding a gene therapy leader to the team
SOMERSET, N.J.—Catalent Inc., a global provider of advanced delivery technologies and development solutions for drugs, biologics and consumer health products, announced May 20 that it had completed the $1.2-billion acquisition of Paragon Bioservices Inc., a leading viral vector development and manufacturing partner for gene therapies, which is part of Catalent Biologics.
As Catalent Chairman and CEO John Chiminski noted in an early-May conference call about third-quarter earnings regarding the acquisition, which was still incomplete at the time, “Paragon will provide us new expertise and capabilities in one of the fastest-growing therapeutic areas in healthcare, reinforcing Catalent’s leadership position across biologics and positioning us for accelerated long-term growth. Paragon brings deep expertise in adeno-associated viral vectors … as well as a platform for development of an expanded offering of vectors, enabling entering into other adjacent technology categories to support the development and manufacturing of gene and cell therapies.
“This expertise combined with Paragon’s manufacturing capabilities and world-class facilities will position us to capitalize on substantial industry tailwinds in gene therapy. Paragon’s leading position in vector manufacturing, its blue-chip customer base and its expanding commercial footprint [make] it an ideal strategic fit for our business.”
With the addition of Paragon’s expertise in adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors, the most commonly used vector to deliver DNA to cells, Catalent says that it is positioned to capitalize on a potentially $40-billion addressable market for gene therapies.
Paragon recently announced the opening of its new, state-of-the-art commercial manufacturing center near the Baltimore-Washington International airport, which is equipped with several 500-liter and 2,000-liter single-use bioreactors for clinical through commercial material production. The new large-scale production campus—now combined with a recently leased second building which will be built out for commercial GMP manufacturing—has the potential for more than 425,000 square feet of manufacturing space upon completion.
Paragon has GMP manufacturing projects underway with more than half of the top 40 leading gene therapy developers worldwide, and Catalent reports that it is committed to continuing the resource dedication for Paragon’s customers and maintaining a flexible and reliable development and manufacturing partnership for its clients. Paragon currently employs more than 380 individuals at its two Baltimore-area sites, all of whom will join the existing Catalent team of over 11,000 employees.