Catalent to tap particle size engineering industry with Micron buy
Catalent will add Micron Technologies’ particle size engineering capabilities to increase its partnerships with more pharma companies at the earliest stages of the development process. Catalent’s capabilities now range from its API optimization platform to formulation and final dose form design services, bioavailability solutions and hot melt extrusion technologies. Terms of the deal were not disclosed and the Micron Technologies Team will form part of Catalent’s Development & Clinical Services business, under the leadership of unit president Scott Houlton.
Houlton told Outsourcing-Pharma.com, “Micronization, as well as other particle size engineering techniques, enables effective and cost-efficient particle reduction of crystalline formulations which can aid solubility of compounds and improve the uniform distribution of API within formulations. Particle size is inherently linked to dissolution and absorption rates of APIs within the body, which are both fundamental to the performance of a drug product.”
Micron Technologies currently operates two facilities in Malvern, PA, and in Dartford, UK, and employs about 100 people across both sites. Both sites are equipped with advanced systems for highly potent and cytotoxic compounds, and provide integrated analytical services capabilities from early stage development to commercialization.
Micronization “is widely adopted in many formulations including oral solid, topical creams, suspensions and inhalation delivery. Because no heat is generated in the process, degradation of the product during the process is greatly reduced,” Houlton added.
Analysts sounded positive on the deal, as well. Jefferies analyst Dave Windley said: “The acquisition adheres to Catalent's ‘follow the molecule’ strategy and will allow it to engage clients even earlier in drug development…Management did not disclose terms of the agreement, but did say it would add about 1% to revenue (i.e. $18-19M).”
John Kreger, an analyst at William Blair, added: “Particle size engineering is typically employed in the preclinical or Phase I stage of development—well before Catalent usually competes for a new molecule. We expect the pace of M&A to pick up at Catalent now that the balance sheet has been partly de-leveraged.”
The acquisition is Catalent’s second since its IPO in July, and follows the acquisition of Redwood Bioscience, with its SMARTag Antibody-Drug Conjugate (ADC) technology platform, in October 2014.