Catalent’s China expansion to meet growing clinical trial industry

By Maggie Lynch contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Rainer Puster)
(Image: Getty/Rainer Puster)

Related tags: Clinical supply, Manufacturing, Asia, China, clinical study, Contract research, Packaging

Catalent’s existing clinical packaging facility in Shanghai is nearing the end of its expansion, ready to meet the needs of the growing Asia-Pacific region.

Catalent Pharma Solutions’, clinical packaging facility in Shanghai, China has reached the commissioning stage of its expansion with facilities developments expected to be complete by the end of 2018.

The expanded facility will house an automated, high-speed bottling line for capsule and tablet products following the completed expansion. Catalent said that the line will increase packaging capacity by up to 100 bottles per minute, and provide quick and easy changeover. The company said that this capability is “essential”​ for clinical-scale production.

A Catalent spokesperson told us, “There have been almost 2,000 industry sponsored clinical trials conducted in China and the wider Asia Pacific region in the last two years alone. This latest investment reflects the importance of the region, and that we anticipate continued growth of clinical trials in Asia.”

Additionally, Catalent also opened a new clinical supply facility​ outside of Shanghai’s free trade zone. The new facility, expected to be complete in 2019, will join the company’s three clinical packaging facilities in the region. Its Waigaoqiao facility opened in 2013 also provides Free Trade Zone access.

“In combination, Catalent’s two facilities inside and outside of Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone offer a solution to both western innovators conducting trials in China, and Chinese innovators looking to conduct their new drug trials globally,” ​said the spokesperson.

Catalent has made multiple investments​ in an effort to serve clinical study supplies in Asia as well as the US. In April, the company completed a $5.5m (€4.87) expansion​ program at its 200,000+ square foot facility in Philadelphia, PA.

At the time, Bernie Clark, Catalent VP of marketing and strategy for clinical supply services, said that the company’s expansions are in relation to the growing global complexity of clinical trials. “Studies have become more global and complex, so the mix of services required to supply them has grown too,”​ he said.

Clark further explained that sponsors are reassessing outsourcing strategies and Catalent is expanding in an aim to meet those strategies.

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