Acquisition of German player gives Catalent enhanced iPSC-based cell therapy capabilities

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/anusorn nakdee
© GettyImages/anusorn nakdee

Related tags: cell and gene therapy, Catalent, Allogeneic, iPSC, Stem cells

Catalent is to acquire German company, RheinCell Therapeutics, a developer and manufacturer of GMP-grade human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for the next generation of cell therapies

The deal will enable the US headquartered, Catalent it to scale iPSC-based cell therapies while reducing barriers to entry to the clinic for therapeutic companies.

The acquisition is expected to be finalized before the end of 2021. The move is subject to customary conditions, and the financial details were not disclosed.

Upon closing, RheinCell’s current employees will join Catalent’s cell and gene therapy business.

Focus on off-the-shelf allogenic therapeutics

Based in Langenfeld, near Düsseldorf, Germany and only founded in 2017, RheinCell is said to have undertaken significant R&D in the area of GMP human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched cell banks and has also invested in development-scale operational capabilities.

Its production pipeline focuses on high immune compatibility and low rejection potential, with a spotlight on solutions for off-the-shelf, allogenic therapeutics. It has access to clinically approved and consented cord blood cells, proprietary cell reprogramming protocols, cleanroom and cell culture facilities, GMP-compliant manufacturing processes, and iPSC workflow experts.

“We formed RheinCell based on our deep scientific and regulatory expertise in the promising field of cell-based therapies,”​ said Juergen Weisser, CEO, RheinCell Therapeutics. “We are convinced Catalent will be able to substantially accelerate RheinCell’s future growth and help to support customers around the globe that are interested in our GMP-grade iPSC lines and iPSC-based services to feed their development pipelines in this exciting and highly demanding new therapeutic field.”

Disruptive tech

By offering a renewable, and standardized, source of cells for further product development, iPSCs have the potential to be a disruptive technology that could fuel the development of the next generation of cell therapies and substantially enhance the ability to manufacture at scale, commented Julien Meissonnier, VP and CSO, Catalent.  

Catalent has been investing in its cell therapy capabilities with four strategic expansions at its Gosselies, Belgium campus – the location of its European Center of Excellence for cell and gene therapy.  It has cell and gene therapy facilities in Texas and Maryland in the US as well.

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