Catalent wraps another Asia-Pacific deal with Pharmapak buy

Drug developer Catalent Pharma Solutions ($CTLT) is continuing its expansion in the Asia-Pacific region with the acquisition of a packaging company in Australia.

The company is buying Pharmapak Technologies in New South Wales but is keeping mum about terms of the deal. It said the acquisition not only gives it regional scope but will also complement Catalent's existing facility in Braeside, Victoria, where it produces oral dose products including its softgel capsules that are distributed throughout Asia-Pacific.

Mark Bisset, Catalent's president for Asia-Pacific, said in a statement that Pharmapak would boost its "development and manufacturing capabilities with a broader range of packaging options, from bulk supply to finished packs."

The company has made a number of investments in that part of the world in the last couple of years. It built a new clinical supply facility in Shanghai, China, in 2013 and last year opened an R&D and manufacturing facility within its 107,000-square-foot operation in Kakegawa, Japan, to support proof-of-concept and feasibility studies involving the company's Zydis dissolvable tablets plus manufacturing of its proprietary softgel technology.

Catalent's expansion in the area tracks that of many of the large drugmakers, which have looked to Asia because it is growing faster than their established markets. A recent study said China's pharmaceutical market should grow by nearly 12% this year.

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