Catalent kicks off $35M expansion in U.S.

Contract manufacturer Catalent Pharma Solutions is expanding again, this time at a controlled release drug manufacturing facility in Winchester, KY, with a little help from that state.

The company said it will invest nearly $35 million to add 80,000 square feet to the 100,000-square-foot facility. It kicked off construction Wednesday and said it expects to have the addition ready by October 2014. The company said the new operations will lead to it hiring up to 90 more workers.

According to state officials, the company has been approved for up to $2.86 million worth of tax credits for the expansion.

This expansion comes just a couple of months after Catalent announced two deals to expand into China. It will buy Haining-based Zhejiang Jiang Yuan Tang Biotechnology, a Chinese company that manufacturers softgel nutritional products for the Chinese and Asia Pacific market. Catalent intends to seek regulatory approval to expand its business into prescription and over-the-counter products while tapping its local knowledge to build out the business. Terms of the deal were not given, but Zhejiang has about 120 employees and says it produces about 3 billion capsules a year.

Separately, Catalent has formed a joint venture with ShangPharma, which they have named Catalent (Shanghai) Clinical Trial Supplies. As part of that arrangement, the JV partners will open a new 31,000-square-foot plant in Shanghai. Construction is already under way, Catalent said. The joint venture intends to provide "end-to-end" clinical trial services, everything from comparator sourcing to packaging, labeling and distribution.

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