Construction began on expanding Catalent’s controlled release drug manufacturing facility in Winchester, Kentucky yesterday in a $35m (€26m) project which will add 80,000 sq ft of manufacturing space and 90 new jobs to the site.
Catalent spokesperson Chris Halling spoke to Outsourcing-Pharma.com saying the expansion is in response to client demand for higher quality, complex controlled release formulations across the drug development process, from pilot to commercial scale.
“Controlled release technology applications are being applied broadly to transform drugs into better treatments,” he said, “through improved therapeutic profiles, enhanced efficacy and safety, and increased patient compliance.”
He added: “It has also sparked resurgence in research and development for further product applications of innovator modified release formulations such as Zydis ODT (orally disintegrating tablet) fast-dissolve tablets.”
Zydis is a proprietary formulation from Catalent which requires no water to disperses instantly in the mouth, used, for example, as a form of drug delivery for Eli Lilly’s bipolar drug Zyprexa.
Catalent Continues Fine-Tuning Its Operations
Halling also said the Winchester expansion followed a number of other investments from Catalent in order to meet growing customer demand, including last year’s expansion of its Schorndorf, Germany facility and a major capacity development at its Somerset, New Jersey headquarters.
As for the company’s strategy, Halling said it was focusing on growing core areas of the business, specifically: “Development solutions and advanced delivery technologies, clinical trial supplies, advanced blow/fill/seal aseptic delivery technology, as well as offering integrated solutions for the development and supply of injectable biologics and complex pharmaceutical products.”
The contract manufacturer has been expanding its biologics offerings of late, with the license of ADC (antibody-drug conjugate) technology and the opening of a new biomanufacturing plant in Wisconsin.
However, this direction was confirmed by Halling to be at the cost to other business areas including Catalent’s US commercial packaging operations which was sold last year to Frazier Healthcare.
Commenting at the time, president of Catalent’s Medication Delivery Solutions segment Barry Littlejohns said the sale was “another step in advancing our strategy to focus on our leading drug development and delivery businesses in core segments.”