Drugmaker Catalent Moves into Cellular Medicines with $315M Deal

After finding success in gene therapy, Catalent is moving into cellular medicines.

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Catalent, a multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey, announced that it is intended to acquire MaSTherCell, a company dedicated to the industrialization and production of cell and gene therapies, for $315 million.

The acquisition of MaSTherCell, which is a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), would help Catalent to grow in the field of cellular medicines.

Catalent had a solid performance in the fiscal first half of 2020. All of its business segments reported growth in revenue. Its biological segment delivered a powerful performance in the first half of 2020, which is not too surprising.

Last year, in the first quarter, Catalent made the $1.2 billion acquisition of Paragon Bioservices, a company that manufactures gene therapies. Catalent expected Paragon to generate at least $200 million in revenue in 2019.

There is a possibility that Catalent could grow their long-term business to make up for the existence of preferred shares.

Catalent has intended to fund the $315 million acquisition of MaSTherCell with cash.

MaSTherCell is a CDMO dedicated to focusing on cellular therapies. The company has experience working with cellular medicines such as CAR-T products, T cell receptors, tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC).

MaSTherCell operates a large facility based in Belgium, which is focused on providing clinical services. The company has been constructing a 60,000 square-foot facility nest to its existing building in Belgium, which will focus on manufacturing and development.

The acquisition move by Catalent makes sense because it already has a presence in Belgium. The Catalent acquisition also fits in well with the company’s stated goal of expanding its presence in biological technologies, which drive innovation in healthcare.

With this proposed acquisition, Catalent is staking its future on biologic drugs. The company is not afraid of making make a big deal. Investors can keep a close watch on the company’s income statement.