Catalent antes up $230M to expand Maryland viral vector manufacturing operation

Catalent's additional funding comes on top of the $130 million it spent a year ago to expand the Maryland cell and gene therapy campus. (Catalent)

Catalent will shell out $230 million to expand the viral vector manufacturing operation at its Harmans, Maryland gene therapy campus.

The latest project by the New Jersey-based CDMO will add three more commercial-scale viral vector suites as well as expanded storage space, ultralow temperature freezers and water-for-injection infrastructure, the company said Tuesday.

The latest investment by Catalent comes a year after the company piled $130 million into the site in the race to manufacture COVID vaccines.

Related: Catalent injects $130M into Maryland cell and gene therapy site drafted into COVID-19 vaccine hunt

When completed by the end of next year, the CDMO giant said it will have 18 cGMP viral vector suites at the Harmans site and the capacity of multiple bioreactors to generate up to 2,000 liters and allow for production from cell bank to purified drug substance.

Catalent expects the overall project to create 700 new jobs at the 350,000 square-foot campus over the next six years.

“By applying the expertise we have gained from the last three years of operating our flagship gene therapy commercial facility, we are able to continue to expand our campus with a design layout that is innovative, efficient and provides ultimate flexibility for our customers,” Manja Boerman, Catalent’s cell and gene therapy president, said in a statement.

The company, like many in the industry, is betting heavily on expanding cell and gene therapy manufacturing capacity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and global demand for vaccines while also keeping an eye on the future of new treatments for other serious diseases.