Catalent buys partially built biologics plant with plans to shell out $160M to finish it

CDMO giant Catalent has snapped up a biologics development and manufacturing facility in the U.K. and will shell out $160 million to wrap up construction there.

The facility is located near Oxford at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus that serves as home to more than 40 life sciences companies. Catalent bought it from the Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre.

Once complete, the site will focus on developing and manufacturing biologics therapies and vaccines based on mRNA, proteins and other advanced modalities, Catalent said.

The $160 million build-out price is on top of the acquisition cost, which the company declined to disclose. The company expects construction of the 74,000-square-meter facility to be completed this year with positions available for about 400 workers at the site.

“We will then integrate its capabilities within our existing network of biologics facilities across Europe to offer a flexible range of manufacturing, technology, and development solutions for the pipeline of thousands of development programs currently underway,” Mike Riley, president of Catalent Biotherapeutics, said in a statement.

Catalent wrapped up an expansion project at its Dartford, England, manufacturing site earlier this year, part of an overall $10 million project to add large-scale isolator units there and at its Malvern, Pennsylvania, facility. In addition to Dartford, Catalent has facilities in Nottingham, Swindon and Haverhill, England, as well as a clinical trial supply site in Bathgate, Scotland.

Like many CDMOs, New Jersey-based Catalent has been on a tear of facility expansions that were spurred by demand generated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March, the company finished up a $30 million expansion project at its site in Limoges, France. That facility will serve as the company’s European center of excellence for formulation and drug product manufacturing in vials, syringes and cartridges.