Catalent, the global leader in enabling biopharma, cell, gene, and consumer health partners to optimize development, launch, and supply of better patient treatments across multiple modalities, has acquired from Erytech Pharma its state-of-the-art, commercial-scale cell therapy manufacturing facility in Princeton, N.J., for $44.5 million. The deal includes an exclusive long-term supply agreement for Catalent to support Erytech’s lead product candidate eryaspase (GRASPA®), a red blood cell-derived product, which is currently in late-stage development for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
The 30,900-sq-ft facility is located within the University Square Campus Park and houses 16 suites positioned for production of products in a cGMP-compliant manner, as well as laboratories for analytical, quality control, and microbiology testing. The site will become a strategic campus for development, as well as clinical- and commercial-scale manufacturing of cell therapies, and is located within easy reach of Catalent’s facilities around Baltimore, Md., where the company develops and manufactures viral vectors and plasmid DNA. It will also work in collaboration with Catalent’s existing U.S. clinical-scale cell therapy facility in Houston, Texas.
Concurrent with the acquisition, Catalent has agreed to terms to lease an adjacent 23,000-sq-ft building that could be used for additional laboratory or cGMP capabilities, and another building on the campus for potential future expansions. All staff at the site will transfer to Catalent’s employment, and Catalent is developing its plans for its future recruitment needs.Under the supply agreement, Catalent will continue to manufacture eryaspase (GRASPA) at the site. It will also support the development of Erytech’s pipeline of encapsulated red blood cell-based therapeutics for severe forms of cancer and orphan diseases.
“This acquisition is strategically important to Catalent’s commitment to support the development and clinical and commercial supply of cell therapies to meet rapidly growing demand,” says Manja Boerman, Ph.D., president, Catalent Cell & Gene Therapy. “The talented and experienced staff already employed at the facility, the capabilities it has in place, and the opportunity to quickly add further capacity on the same site, allow Catalent to expand rapidly to create a U.S. campus and center of excellence for cell therapy development and manufacturing that will serve customers around the world.”
Catalent’s cell and gene therapy network includes six U.S. facilities across Maryland and Texas, a European center of excellence in Belgium, and its cell innovation facility in Germany. These sites offer a range of small- and large-scale clinical and commercial manufacturing, as well as fill/finish capabilities.