Catalent Kentucky expansion grows to $52M

CDMO Catalent ($CTLT) started nearly two years ago on an expansion that it said would cost about $35 million and add about 80,000 square feet to its operation in Winchester, KY. But with additional investments in fluid bed capacity, the project ended up running to $52 million for an expansion of about 90,000 square feet, nearly double its original footprint.

The project was undertaken as demand grew for complex, oral solid formulations, Catalent said. The project increased fluid bed capacity and expanded analytical laboratories, utilizing an open design that the company says provides more flexibility. About 140 jobs will be added as a result of the expansion and Catalent expects that number to grow with business there. A spokesman says there are currently just over 400 workers at the stie. When the project was announced in 2013, state officials indicated it would qualify for about $2.86 million worth of tax credits.

Catalent CEO John Chiminski

Catalent CEO John Chiminski explained in a statement that flexibility, along with the company's record with technology transfers and product launches, has driven increased demand for manufacturing services at Winchester. "Our latest capacity expansion allows us to manufacture substantial marketed products for both new and existing customers," Chiminski said.

The facility, which can produce more than 3 billion tablets and capsules annually, was opened in 2002. Catalent says more than 100 new products have been launched into the market from the facility in the two decades.

The Winchester project is only one of a number of expansions or M&A deal undertaken by the drug developer and manufacturer in the last several years. An expansion at its Kansas City facility in 2014 was slated to add about 230 jobs.

Early this month, the Somerset, NJ-based company said it had acquired Pharmapak Technologies in New South Wales, Australia, for an undisclosed amount to complement Catalent's existing facility in Braeside, Victoria, where it produces oral dose products. Other M&A deals included buying Redwood Bioscience, a longtime partner with a proprietary approach to antibody-drug conjugates, and Micron Technologies, a company that specializes in helping drug developers reduce the size of their therapeutic particles to boost deliverability and bioavailability.

- here's the release