Catalent to acquire cell therapy company for $315M

Somerset-based drug delivery firm Catalent Inc. announced on Monday it has acquired MaSTherCell Global, a cell and gene therapy organization, for $315 million in cash.

The acquisition will extend Catalent’s position in the biotech industry, said John Chiminski, chair and CEO of Catalent.

“MaSTherCell … complements our leading gene therapy offering and allows us to deliver comprehensive development, manufacturing, analytical, fill-finish and clinical supply solutions for innovators across the large molecule space,” Chiminski said. “Both autologous and allogeneic cell therapies provide important new treatment options, with a rising number expected to gain regulatory approval over the coming years. Catalent is well-positioned to combine MaSTherCell’s expert teams and capabilities with our extensive resources and experience in scaling new platforms, and to help MaSTherCell build-out its development and commercial manufacturing capabilities.”

Founded in 2011, MaSTherCell has a 25,000 square foot facility in Gosselies, Belgium, which provides clinical services. Construction is currently in the process on a 60,000-square-foot commercial production and fill-finish facility, which is scheduled to open in fall 2021 and add more than 250 new jobs to its team. Once complete, its 32,000-square-foot facility in Houston, Texas, will focus on development-scale projects and will employ a team of more than 50 before the end of 2020.

“MaSTherCell has built comprehensive capabilities to address the complexities of cell therapy production. Like Catalent, our experience has taught us the importance of technology selection, advanced know-how, and quality and regulatory expertise for successful cell therapy programs that are aimed at producing life-altering treatments. We are excited to join the industry-leading team at Catalent and work together to scale-up our business. This combination will strengthen our service offering to our customers and, in the end, benefit patients who need innovative life-saving therapies. Catalent’s backing will position MaSTherCell for growth and enhance Catalent’s existing presence in Belgium,” MaSTherCell CEO Darren Head said.

Once the deal is complete, which is anticipated for the third quarter, MaSTherCell’s 240 current employees and leadership team will become part of Catalent’s Biologics business.