Catalent adds to regenerative therapy portfolio with $315m acquisition


Belgian CDMO MaSTherCell Global is a technology-focused cell and gene therapy CDMO

Photo as seen on MaSTherCell Global website

Photo as seen on MaSTherCell Global website

Catalent has agreed to acquire cell and gene therapy CDMO MaSTherCell Global for $315 million in cash.

“MaSTherCell extends our leadership position in the biotech industry, complements our leading gene therapy offering, and allows us to deliver comprehensive development, manufacturing, analytical, fill-finish, and clinical supply solutions for innovators across the large molecule space,” said John Chiminski, Catalent’s Chair & CEO.

“Both autologous and allogeneic cell therapies provide important new treatment options, with a rising number expected to gain regulatory approval over the coming years. Catalent is well-positioned to combine MaSTherCell’s expert teams and capabilities with our extensive resources and experience in scaling new platforms, and to help MaSTherCell build-out its development and commercial manufacturing capabilities.”

Founded in 2011, MaSTherCell has a 25,000 sqft facility in Gosselies, Belgium providing clinical services, and construction is in progress on a dedicated 60,000 sqft adjacent commercial-scale production and fill-finish facility, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021 and ultimately add over 250 new jobs to the current team of over 240.

MaSTherCell 32,000 sqft US facility in Houston, Texas, upon completion of validation activities, will focus on development-scale projects and will employ a team of over 50 experts before the end of the year.

The Belgian biotech has a growing customer base and offers a unique portfolio of capabilities and technologies that include the development and manufacture of autologous and allogeneic cell therapies, as well as a variety of related analytical services. Its experience includes therapies based on chimeric antibody receptor-engineered T cells (CAR-T), T cell receptors (TCR), tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC).

Darren Head, MaSTherCell’s CEO said: “MaSTherCell has built comprehensive capabilities to address the complexities of cell therapy production. Like Catalent, our experience has taught us the importance of technology selection, advanced know-how, and quality and regulatory expertise for successful cell therapy programs that are aimed at producing life-altering treatments.”

Business structure

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Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected in the current, third quarter of Catalent’s 2020 fiscal year and is subject to customary closing conditions, MaSTherCell’s 240 employees, including itsleadership team, will become part of the Catalent Biologics business.