The company invested in $30m (€27m) into the project to update the site, which is now able to offer biopharma development, drug product fill/finish services, and packaging.
The expansion of the Limoges site is expected to create up to 80 additional positions. Completion of the works arrives two years after the company announced the decision to invest into the 180,000-square-foot location.
As a result of the expansion, Catalent will be able to offer early phase integrated clinical development through to clinical supply services and small-scale commercial manufacturing. Within its network, the company can then take projects to other Catalent facilities for late-stage clinical or larger-scale commercial supply.
In terms of the equipment added by the capital injection, the company stated that a new small-to-mid-scale flexible filling line had been added, which is able to handle vials, syringes or cartridges. In addition, improvements have been made to analytical and quality control laboratories, with the facility also able to support clinical packaging and cold storage.
When asked about the scale of commercial capacity the facility is able to extend to, Bernie Clark, VP of marketing & strategy at Catalent Biologics, told BioPharma-Reporter: “The annual capacity of the new filling line, which is under a barrier isolator, is up to 10 million units. This output is dependent upon the product presentation and size of components.”
Last year saw Catalent announce, in fourth quarter financials, that its biologics segment had been the top contributor to its overall financial performance, recording revenue growth of 66% and EBITDA doubling from the previous year’s quarter. A significant driver behind these results had been COVID-19 related projects.
Clark confirmed that though the newly updated facility does have the capacity to develop and manufacture vaccines, the initial investment decision had not been taken as a result of the emergence of COVID-19.
Alongside the capabilities of its Limoges facility, the company also purchased Bristol Myers Squibb’s facility in Anagni, Italy, for the production of biologics and oral solid doses. During the same Q4 announcement, the company stated that more than 100 million vaccine doses had been delivered from the site.
When asked whether Catalent planned on any further expansions of capacity in Europe, Clark noted that the company had committed to $100m to expand the Anagni site last year, including the installation of two 2,000L single-use bioreactors.
However, he added that “Catalent is continually looking for ways to better serve its partners in different regions and markets, and invests in flexible manufacturing capabilities to meet increasing demand across service offerings.”