Catalent Expands Plasmid Capabilities with Delphi Acquisition

Acquisition Puzzle Pieces

CDMO Catalent continues its push to the top with yet another acquisition. Buying out Delphi Genetics, the manufacturing company can now add plasmid DNA production to its growing list of offerings.

Delphi’s headquarters will add 17,000 square-feet to Catalent’s Gosselies, Belgium footprint. Capable of handling the entire plasmid DNA development, just a year ago the Delphi facility tripled its production capacity and received GMP certification.

“We are absolutely thrilled to team up with Catalent and, by combining with the companies it has already established in Belgium, create a European Center of Excellence in Cell and Gene Therapy," said François Blondel, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Delphi Genetics. "We believe Catalent will immediately benefit from our expertise and the recent investments we have made in CGMP capacity.”

The move lines up with Catalent’s ongoing expansion into the cell and gene therapy space. Plasmid DNA is a key component in the production of most gene and gene-enabled cell therapies. The CDMO will jump right in with development and manufacturing at its Rockville, MD facility, which it's been upgrading for plasmid DNA production since purchasing in 2019.

“Cell and gene therapy production is complex, and most developers prefer to use experienced partners with an integrated offering across the supply chain. Having integrated pDNA supply is a critical component for the fast and efficient production of viral vectors,” said Manja Boerman, Ph.D., President, Catalent Cell & Gene Therapy. “By providing these capabilities in both Europe and the U.S., where the vast majority of genetic therapy companies are based, we will help our partners improve processes and reduce timelines as they bring their life-changing therapies to patients.” 

While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, Catalent anticipates transferring Delphi’s team - R&D and genetic engineering scientists and technicians, regulatory specialists, and other associated roles – into Catalent’s Cell and Gene Therapy Business.

Catalent has been busy already this month making deals left and right. Just eight days prior, the company announced the acquisition of the manufacturing and packaging operations of Acorda Therapeutics. That buy gets the company 90,000 square feet to produce inhaled delivery drugs.

The CDMO also entered into a commercial supply agreement and a manufacturing agreement with Aurinia Pharmaceuticals and Trizell GmbH, respectively. Earlier in the month, Catalent inked a deal with Decibel to manufacture a dual-vector gene therapy for the treatment of congenital hearing loss.

Of course, the company’s most relevant contribution globally has been Catalent’s COVID-19 response. The company is supporting over 60 customers working on antivirals, vaccines, diagnostics and treatments against the pandemic, including a partnership with Moderna to manufacture its mRNA-based vaccine.

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