Catalent running its biologics business at over 90% capacity

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/razihusin
Image: iStock/razihusin

Related tags Fiscal year

Catalent is struggling to keep up with demand for its biomanufacturing services, but a third production train will open up more capacity from October.

During a conference call to discuss Q2 results this week, the contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) told investors its biologics business “is positioned well to drive future growth” ​and now contributes 4% to the firm’s revenues – up from 1% in 2014.

And according to CEO John Chiminski, Catalent is struggling to keep up with demand.

“The biologics business continues to be really growing in an incredibly fast rate,”​ he told stakeholder this week. “And currently, as to factories running, we're running near capacity, I would say, upwards of 90%.”

Catalent’s single-use biomanufacturing site in Madison, Wisconsin began making biologics for the CDMO’s clients in 2013​. Since then, the former GE Healthcare site has seen a number of capacity expansions​, the latest being a $34m investment​ to install two new 2,000L single-use bioreactors expected to be operational in October.

“You can imagine with us being at 90-plus percent of our current capacity that we're making good headway with a very strong pipeline in terms of allocating capacity in advance. And in fact, it's going to be coming in line, I would say, just in time given where our capacity is at with the current slate of business that we have there,”​ Chiminski said.

Increased pipelines

As to where demand is coming from, Chiminski pointed to the number of large molecule candidates that are in the pipeline.

“The pipelines have increased something like 50% over the last several years, and they continue to grow,”​ he said. “The overall marketplace continues to be very robust.”

For the second quarter fiscal year 2017, Catalent reported overall sales of $484m, up 6% year-on-year. The Drug Delivery Solutions segment, which includes the biologics business, clocked in sales of $214m.

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