Catalent picking up Bristol-Myers Squibb site in Italy with 700 workers

Catalent has been on a buying spree, adding biologics and gene therapy capabilities to its manufacturing repertoire as most drug development moves in those directions. In a deal announced today, it is buying a site in Italy from Bristol-Myers Squibb that handles biologics but also has a long history with old-school solid-dose production.

The plant in Anagni makes a wide variety of products including cancer and cardiology drugs, which Catalent will continue to produce for Bristol-Myers. Terms of the sale, which is expected to close by year-end, were not disclosed. A Bristol-Myers spokesperson said the plant has about 700 employees.

“We believe that the sale to Catalent will continue the vital role the Anagni facility plays for its workforce, the community and patients,” Lou Schmukler, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s president of global product development and supply, said in a statement. “This marks an important step in the ongoing evolution of our manufacturing network to support the company’s innovative product portfolio.”

RELATED: Catalent pulls off $1.2B deal for gene therapy CDMO Paragon

Catalent Chief Operating Officer Alessandro Maselli said the the 50-year-old 208,000-square-foot facility will give the company advanced sterile drug product fill-finish and packaging capacity in Europe as well as established solid-dose capabilities. Bristol has used the facility, which is about 100 kilometers southeast of Rome, to launch many of its medications over the years.  

The news comes just weeks after Catalent announced a much bigger deal: a $1.2 billion buyout of Paragon Bioservices. The acquisition of the CDMO moves Catalent into the burgeoning arena of development and manufacturing of gene therapies.

As for Bristol-Myers, it has its hands full with its own plan to buy Celgene in a $74 billion deal, a move that will greatly expand its portfolio of approved oncology drugs as well as give it a pipeline that includes a CAR-T treatment for multiple myeloma.