The US off-shoot of Japanese firm Hitachi Chemical has entered an agreement to up its position in cell therapy contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) PCT by buying out majority shareholder Caladrius Biosciences for a total of $75m in a deal expected to close in May.
“I’m delighted to report the entry into an agreement for the acquisition of our remaining 80.1% interest in PCT by Hitachi Chemical,” Caladrius CEO David Mazzo said on a conference call to discuss his firm’s Q4 results this week. “This transaction has the potential to unlock the tremendous value of our PCT asset in a way that was unimaginable just a few years ago.”
He explained Caladrius has been “increasingly challenged by the tens of millions of dollars of additional capital investment need over the next several years for PCT to fully realise its cell therapy commercial manufacturing growth goals,” and added Hitachi is in a position “to deploy the capital and engineering capabilities” needed to achieve these.
Caladrius will continue to use PCT for the manufacturing and development of its own cell therapy candidates – including CLBS03, a T-regulatory (Treg) cell-based therapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus – “without the burden of having to try to support and grow that business due to the very, very large capital needs necessary to remain competitive,” he told stakeholders.
The deal will include the transfer to Hitachi of cGMP-compliant facilities in Allendale, New Jersey and Mountain View, California offering quality systems, streamlined technology transfer, storage and logistics, and cell and tissue processing services.
In a statement following the announced acquisition, PCT said: “Our relationship with our clients does not change based on this announcement, nor will it change based on the finalization of this transaction.”