Catalent, Inc. | August 10, 2022
Catalent, Inc. 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, today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire Metrics Contract Services a full-service specialty Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization with a facility in Greenville, North Carolina, for $475 million from Mayne Pharma Group Limited. Upon completion, the acquisition will strengthen Catalent’s capabilities in integrated oral solid formulation development, manufacturing, and packaging to help customers simplify and accelerate their programs, while also expanding Catalent's capacity to handle highly potent compounds.
The 333,000 square-foot Greenville facility features comprehensive capabilities to accelerate and de-risk customer programs from early development through commercial launch through a streamlined one-site solution. Over the past five years, the facility has seen more than $100 million in capital improvements and now includes 16 manufacturing suites, with 11 designed to handle highly potent compounds, as well as two packaging lines that can support a large variety of development and commercial supply programs. The facility’s estimated annual production capacity exceeds one billion oral solid dose units.
“This acquisition will further expand Catalent’s ability to meet our customers’ expectations in fast-growing areas of the business and patient need. The experienced team and consistently improved, state-of-the-art facility in Greenville will provide Catalent’s customers with immediate, fit-for-scale capacity for in-demand highly potent drugs and other oral solid small-to-mid-size batch needs. This capacity is particularly important for customers with R&D pipelines featuring accelerated, orphan, and rare disease programs for oncology and other important therapeutic areas,” said Dr. Aris Gennadios, Group President of Catalent’s Pharma & Consumer Health segment.
“Over the past several years, Metrics has undergone a period of transformational change to expand its footprint and service offering, becoming a global end-to-end novel oral solid CDMO. Catalent, a global leader in advanced drug development and manufacturing, is well-positioned to continue to invest in and accelerate the growth of Metrics and we believe this transaction will be extremely positive for our Greenville team and customers,”
Scott Richards, Chief Executive Officer of Mayne Pharma
The new facility will seamlessly integrate into Catalent’s industry-leading oral development and manufacturing network, which includes flagship sites for large-scale and controlled release oral solids manufacturing in Winchester, Kentucky; softgel development and manufacturing in St. Petersburg, Florida; and additional facilities with bioavailability enhancement technologies and complex oral solids manufacturing platforms.
The acquisition is expected to close before the end of this calendar year, subject to customary closing conditions, and the entire team of over 400 employees will join Catalent. Mayne Pharma and Catalent have also agreed on the terms of a long-term supply agreement whereby the Greenville facility will continue to manufacture multiple Mayne Pharma products. Catalent will pay the purchase price for this all-cash acquisition using a combination of cash on hand, existing credit facilities, and, depending on market conditions, potentially new debt financing. The closing of the acquisition is not contingent on any financing activity.
Catalent, Inc. an S&P 500® company, is the global leader in enabling pharma, biotech, and consumer health partners to optimize product development, launch, and full life-cycle supply for patients around the world. With broad and deep scale and expertise in development sciences, delivery technologies, and multi-modality manufacturing, Catalent is the industry’s preferred partner for personalized medicines, consumer health brand extensions, and blockbuster drugs. Catalent helps accelerate over 1,000 partner programs and launch over 150 new products every year. Its flexible manufacturing platforms at over 50 global sites supply over 70 billion doses of nearly 7,000 products to over 1,000 customers annually. Catalent’s expert workforce of approximately 19,000 includes more than 2,500 scientists and technicians. Headquartered in Somerset, New Jersey, the company generated $4 billion in revenue in its 2021 fiscal year.
ABOUT METRICS CONTRACT SERVICES
Metrics Contract Services, a division of Mayne Pharma Group Limited, is a full-service pharmaceutical development and manufacturing organization serving clients worldwide delivering proven scientific and operational excellence for novel oral dosage forms. Metrics provides formulation development, analytical testing and commercial manufacturing from its single-campus facility in Greenville, North Carolina
Astellas Pharma Inc. | September 20, 2022
Astellas Venture Management LLC a wholly-owned venture capital subsidiary of Astellas Pharma Inc. and Mission Bay Capital BioLabs a life-science incubator, today announced their collaboration on the "Astellas Future Innovator Prize" formerly known as the Astellas Golden Ticket competition. Building on over three successful years, the competition offers entrepreneurial scientists or emerging biotechnology start-ups one year's priority usage of MBC BioLabs' state-of-the-art lab facility and access to Astellas' research and development (R&D) capabilities and business leaders.
With a shared commitment to discovering and advancing innovative science for the potential future benefit of patients worldwide, AVM and MBC BioLabs are continuing their partnership to support scientists and early-stage companies to accelerate their novel therapeutic programs, modalities or platforms. The 2022 competition will prioritize innovative research that compliment Astellas' Focus Area Approach and pipeline.
"We are truly thrilled to host the Astellas Future Innovator Prize again this year. Through our long-term collaboration with MBC BioLabs, we aim to create an environment that encourages innovation to thrive. The Astellas Future Innovator Prize enables us to provide biotech companies with expertise and capabilities to turn an innovative idea into a real solution, which could transform the lives of patients in need around the world."
William Watt, President, AVM
"We are pleased to continue our partnership with Astellas to uncover the innovators of tomorrow," said Douglas Crawford, MBC BioLabs General Manager. "The past winners of the Astellas Future Innovator Prize show what can be achieved by combining Astellas' support, advice and expertise with our laboratory incubator, and we are excited to see the result of our ongoing collaboration."
Entrepreneurial scientists, emerging life-science and biotechnology start-ups have until November 4, 2022 to enter the Astellas Future Innovator Prize.
About the Astellas Future Innovator Prize at MBC BioLabs
Astellas is offering up to two prizes for pioneering scientists with innovative research that complements Astellas' areas of interest in alignment with its Focus Area Approach and pipeline, including Blindness & Regeneration, Mitochondria, Genetic Regulation, Immuno-Oncology, Cell Therapy, and other areas.
The 2021 Astellas Future Innovator Prize winners were Vcreate and Weatherwax Biotechnologies, chosen for the potential of their innovations to deliver therapeutic advances for unmet medical needs and their potential synergy with Astellas' Focus Area Approach.
About Astellas Venture Management LLC
AVM is the wholly-owned venture capital organization within Astellas, dedicated to supporting pre-clinical, cutting-edge science that can bring VALUE to patients. For over 15 years, AVM has provided equity investments to private, early-stage companies developing therapeutic programs and platform technologies, helping them to advance their innovations faster. AVM is a strategic investor, making investments in science that will enhance the current Astellas R&D pipeline or that could catalyze new directions in discovery research.
Astellas Pharma Inc. is a pharmaceutical company conducting business in more than 70 countries around the world. We are promoting the Focus Area Approach that is designed to identify opportunities for the continuous creation of new drugs to address diseases with high unmet medical needs by focusing on Biology and Modality. Furthermore, we are also looking beyond our foundational Rx focus to create Rx+® healthcare solutions that combine our expertise and knowledge with cutting-edge technology in different fields of external partners. Through these efforts, Astellas stands on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into value for patients.
About MBC BioLabs
MBC BioLabs is dedicated to helping life-science startups succeed. By renting space as small as a single bench and providing these entrepreneurial scientists with access to millions of dollars of equipment, MBC BioLabs allows companies to be fast, focused, and frugal. It has three sites: one in the Dogpatch neighborhood in San Francisco and two campuses in San Carlos, California. Each site has a complete molecular biology core facility that allows companies to do experiments on day one. MBC BioLabs has partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and life-science companies as well as a built-in venture capital firm, Mission BioCapital. These partnerships provide entrepreneurs with valuable insights about where to focus their efforts and accelerates the innovation pipeline. Since opening in 2013, MBC BioLabs has helped launch and grow 290 companies. These companies have brought 58 programs to the clinic, produced 13 approved diagnostics, and raised over $14 billion.
CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. | September 26, 2022
CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a U.S. biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics and pharmaceutical products announced that CASI Biopharmaceuticals Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. entered into an Equity Transfer Agreement with Shenzhen Jiadao Gongcheng Equity Investment Fund, LLP pursuant to which CASI Wuxi agreed to transfer its equity interest in Juventas Biotechnology Co., Ltd. amounting to 12.0098% total Juventas equity to Jiadao Gongcheng for RMB 240.87 million. The Equity Transfer Agreement states there will be two even payment installments from Jiadao Gongcheng; one payment to be made after the Equity Transfer Agreement is signed and the second payment to be made after the completion of the equity transaction.
"We are confident in CNCT-19, and we expect Juventas to submit for NDA to the NMPA in 2022 for the B-ALL indication. CASI and Juventas will continue to maintain a working partnership, focusing on product launch and co-marketing for CNCT-19."
Wei-Wu He, Ph.D., CASI's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. He continued, "The completion of the equity transfer transaction will strengthen CASI's balance sheet by providing CASI with sufficient cash to operate until, at least, the end of 2023. This transaction will allow CASI to advance the development of our other pipeline projects while augmenting the efforts of our sales and marketing team."
CNCT19 targets CD19, a B-cell surface protein widely expressed during all phases of B-cell development and a validated target for B-cell driven hematological malignancies. CD19- targeted CAR constructs from several different institutions have demonstrated consistently high antitumor efficacy in children and adults with relapsed B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia chronic lymphocytic leukemia and B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. CD19 antigen is the most frequently used target in the CAR-T cell therapy clinical trials for hematological malignancies such as leukemia and lymphoma. Juventas is responsible for the development of CNCT19. CASI and Juventas will co-commercialize CNCT19 under the direction of the program's joint steering committee.
About CASI Pharmaceuticals
CASI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a U.S. biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics and pharmaceutical products in China, the United States, and throughout the world. The Company is focused on acquiring, developing, and commercializing products that augment its hematology oncology therapeutic focus as well as other areas of unmet medical need. The Company intends to execute its plan to become a leader by launching medicines in the Greater China market, leveraging the Company's China-based regulatory and commercial competencies and its global drug development expertise. The Company's operations in China are conducted through its wholly-owned subsidiary, CASI Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., located in Beijing, China. The Company has built a commercial team of more than 100 hematology and oncology sales and marketing specialists based in China.
Juventas is a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in China dedicated to the development and commercialization of cell therapies globally. Utilizing innovative and integrated technology platforms, the company has developed a diverse pipeline of cellular immunotherapies for treatment of hematological malignancies, solid tumors, and other non-oncological conditions both in China and globally. At present, the company is conducting two pivotal clinical trials of CNCT19 for treating adult r/r-B-ALL and r/r-B-NHL in China. CNCT19 has the potential to become the first launched domestically developed CD19 CAR-T therapy in China and the first CAR-T product for the treatment of adult R/R B-ALL in China.