Valerion teams up with Catalent to develop orphan drug delivery tech

Catalent ($CTLT) has signed on with Concord, MA-based Valerion Therapeutics to help develop delivery technology for the company's line of orphan genetic treatments.

Valerion's pipeline includes treatments for the rare diseases myotubular myopathy and myotonic dystrophy, both of which involve the fusion of proteins, causing enzyme deficiencies that can be fatal in infants and adults. Both programs are in pilot studies. Valerion also has early-stage programs for Forbes-Cori and Pompe Disease.

To deliver these bio-therapeutics, Valerion has turned to Catalent's GPEx technology, which is designed to enhance intracellular delivery of proteins, oligonucleotides and small molecules, according to a release from Catalent. The company says the delivery tech is typically capable of cutting the time to clinic to a third of that using traditional approaches. The partnership came about for an undisclosed sum.

Valerion CEO Deborah Ramsdell

"We selected Catalent as our development and manufacturing partner for this exciting project as the company has both the expertise and proprietary technologies required to bring these candidates to the clinic in the shortest possible timeframe," Valerion CEO Deborah Ramsdell said in a statement.

After some initial studies, Catalent plans to use its Madison, WI, biomanufacturing facility to produce the therapies. The 2013 facility, built at a cost of about $26 million, quadrupled the company's manufacturing capacity at the time.

Catalent has an aggressive M&A strategy that has been paying off in recent years, with the Somerset, NJ-based company pulling in $418.3 million in the fiscal quarter ending in September, a 1% boost over the same period last year. In the fiscal year, Catalent said at the time it expected to come in around $1.9 billion in revenue, a nearly 5% jump.

- here's the release