Catalent expands Kentucky solid dose plant even as it moves into gene therapy  

Catalent Bloomington, Indiana plant
Catalent has jumped into gene therapy manufacturing and expanded its biologics prodcution but also keeps adding to its more traditional manufacturing facilities. (Catalent)

Catalent busted into the thriving gene therapy contract market with its recent $1.2 billion deal for Paragon Bioservices. While gene therapy is the shiny new thing in the CDMO world, Catalent continues to expand the traditional parts its business that currently comprise most of its global footprint.

The Somerset, New Jersey-based company today said it is investing up to $40 million at its manufacturing facility in Winchester, Kentucky to boost its formulation and controlled-release tablet and capsule manufacturing capabilities and capacity. The expansion follows a $35 million investment in 2015 that doubled the footprint of the facility to 180,000 square feet.

“We have a clear investment strategy at the site that is not only driven by immediate customer needs, but also looks to the future in anticipation of demand and new technologies,” Rick Tucker, general manager at the Winchester site, said in a statement.

Among other equipment, the site will get a spray dryer that will allow commercial scale up capacity for projects that progress from early-stage development, including tech transfer of projects from Catalent development sites that include San Diego, California and Nottingham, U.K.

This announcement comes just two weeks after Catalent said it would buy Baltimore, Maryland-based gene therapy CDMO Paragon Bioservices. The $1.2 billion deal presents Catalent with a newly completed commercial-scale manufacturing facility near Baltimore and 380 new employees. Catalent said Paragon’s expertise with adeno-associated virus vectors, plasmids and lentivirus vectors will provide a solid base from which to capture some of the $40 billion gene therapy market.

In 2017, Catalent significantly boosted its biologics capabilities with the $950 million buyout of Cook Pharmica and its extensive biologics manufacturing operation in Bloomington, Indiana.