Bristol-Myers offloads manufacturing plant to Catalent

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Ijeab)
(Image: Getty/Ijeab)

Related tags: Bristol-myers squibb, Catalent, italy

Catalent buys Italian manufacturing and packaging plant from Bristol-Myers Squibb, adding oral solid, biologics and sterile product capacity.

BMS and Catalent disclosed the deal for the site in June, at which time they hoped to work through the regulatory approvals and union consultations needed to close the transaction by the end of the year. One week into 2020, Bristol-Myers revealed it had closed the deal.

The deal covers a 19,300-square-meter manufacturing facility in Anagni, a town in central Italy, that lists cardiovascular, neuroleptics, anticancer, metabolic and anti-inflammatory medicines among the drugs it makes and packages.

BMS used the facility to support its own product line but, as part of Catalent, the site will service multiple companies on a contract basis. Catalent will use the facility to provide biologic and oral solid dose manufacturing and packaging capacity to biopharma companies.

Catalent CEO John Chiminski explained why the presence of those capabilities at the Anagni facility made the deal attractive to him on a conference call with analysts in August.

Chiminski said, “It's going to provide us capabilities within Europe that we really don't have now. It's really a fantastic site. It's going to give us capabilities from biologics to oral drug delivery packaging​.”

Catalent sees the capabilities at Anagni as complementary to those of its existing sites in Belgium and North America. The existing sites have sterile fill/finish, drug substance and analytical capabilities.

The deal also provides Catalent with a contract to manufacture BMS’ current portfolio at the site. Neither party has disclosed the identities of the products covered by the manufacturing contract but records held by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) suggest the deal may include some key medicines for BMS.

EMA records list Anagni as the European manufacturing and batch release site for multiple medicines sold by Bristol-Myers, including PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo (nivolumab) and the anticoagulant Eliquis (apixaban). Over the first nine months of 2019, ex-US sales of Opdivo alone totaled more than $2bn (€1.8bn).

If Opdivo is covered by the deal, it will join a growing portfolio of commercial biologics handled by Catalent. The Bloomington, Indiana site Catalent acquired in the takeover of Cook Pharmica now has more than 20 commercial products, up from 12 at the time of the deal​.

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