Somerset-based Catalent, Inc. announced a collaboration with the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, whereby Catalent’s Biologics business unit will accelerate availability of manufacturing capacity and prepare for large-scale commercial manufacturing at its facility in Bloomington, IN of Johnson & Johnson’s lead vaccine candidate for COVID-19.
The collaboration commits joint investment to accelerate rapid scale-up of segregated manufacturing capacity over the coming months to support dedicated production of Johnson & Johnson’s investigational vaccine candidate. Catalent plans to hire approximately 300 additional employees at the site for this program starting in July 2020 to meet operational readiness and 24×7 manufacturing schedules by January 2021.
“Catalent is proud to collaborate with Johnson & Johnson in its efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic and save lives,” said John Chiminski, chair and chief executive officer of Catalent. “Both organizations have committed to ambitious goals and are executing innovative strategies to meet the forecasted demand on an unprecedented timeline. We value the trust that Johnson & Johnson has placed in us regarding this important, time-sensitive program and will apply our extensive experience in quickly scaling up manufacturing operations for late-stage and commercial products.”
Catalent’s state-of-the-art 875,000 square-foot facility in Bloomington has deep expertise in sterile formulation, with drug substance development and manufacturing and drug product fill/finish capacity across liquid and lyophilized vials, prefilled syringes, and cartridges as well as primary and secondary packaging. Scale-up in production will include the use of two new high-speed machines, including an Optima vial filling line and a Dividella NeoTOP® 1604 top-load cartoner. In addition to the Bloomington facility, the Catalent Biologics network has facilities in Brussels, Belgium and Anagni, Italy that perform sterile drug product manufacturing and packaging, and additional facilities in the United States and Europe for manufacturing proteins, viral vectors for gene therapies, and cell therapies, as well as pre-filled syringe manufacture and bioanalytics.
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