Somerset-based Catalent, Inc., a global provider of advanced delivery technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, gene therapies, and consumer health products, has agreed to acquire MaSTherCell Global, a company backed by Great Point Partners, SFPI-FPIM, and Orgenesis Inc., for an aggregate of $315 million in cash, subject to a customary adjustments.
“MaSTherCell extends our leadership position in the biotech industry, complements our leading gene therapy offering, and allows us to deliver comprehensive development, manufacturing, analytical, fill-finish, and clinical supply solutions for innovators across the large molecule space,” said John Chiminski, Catalent’s chair & chief executive officer. “Both autologous and allogeneic cell therapies provide important new treatment options, with a rising number expected to gain regulatory approval over the coming years. Catalent is well-positioned to combine MaSTherCell’s expert teams and capabilities with our extensive resources and experience in scaling new platforms, and to help MaSTherCell build-out its development and commercial manufacturing capabilities.”
Founded in 2011, MaSTherCell has a 25,000 square-foot facility in Gosselies, Belgium providing clinical services, and construction is in progress on a dedicated 60,000 square-foot adjacent commercial-scale production and fill-finish facility, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021 and ultimately add over 250 new jobs to the current team of over 240. Its 32,000 square-foot U.S. facility in Houston, Texas, upon completion of validation activities, will focus on development-scale projects and will employ a team of over 50 experts before the end of the year. MaSTherCell has a growing customer base and offers a unique portfolio of capabilities and technologies that include the development and manufacture of autologous and allogeneic cell therapies, as well as a variety of related analytical services. Its experience includes therapies based on chimeric antibody receptor-engineered T cells (CAR-T), T cell receptors (TCR), tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC).
Darren Head, MaSTherCell’s chief executive officer, commented, “MaSTherCell has built comprehensive capabilities to address the complexities of cell therapy production. Like Catalent, our experience has taught us the importance of technology selection, advanced know-how, and quality and regulatory expertise for successful cell therapy programs that are aimed at producing life-altering treatments. We are excited to join the industry-leading team at Catalent and work together to scale-up our business. This combination will strengthen our service offering to our customers and, in the end, benefit patients who need innovative life-saving therapies. Catalent’s backing will position MaSTherCell for growth and enhance Catalent’s existing presence in Belgium.”
Vered Caplan, chief executive officer of Orgenesis, stated, “We are very proud of the developments and accomplishments at MaSTherCell, which has become a best-in-class contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) servicing many of the leading cell and gene therapy companies. Since we completed our acquisition of MaSTherCell in 2015, the business has grown along with this burgeoning industry. With Catalent’s expertise and resources, we believe MaSTherCell will be well positioned to continue on its current trajectory in order to meet the evolving needs of the industry.”
Noah Rhodes, managing director at Great Point Partners, commented, “We identified MaSTherCell as the leading provider of development and manufacturing services to cell and gene therapy companies, and have enjoyed watching the company and its team continue to flourish. We cannot think of a better partner for MaSTherCell than Catalent, as the combined company will be a leading vertically-integrated provider able to serve customers and patients on a global basis.”
Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected in the current, third quarter of Catalent’s 2020 fiscal year and is subject to customary closing conditions, MaSTherCell’s 240 talented employees, including its outstanding leadership team, will become part of the Catalent Biologics business.
The acquisition is an all-cash transaction, which Catalent expects to finance with either a partial drawn down of its revolving credit facility or the proceeds from future capital-raising activity. As part these activities, Catalent has obtained $200 million of committed financing, subject to customary conditions, from JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. It should be noted, however, that the agreement governing the acquisition is not contingent on any financing activity. Catalent intends to file a Current Report on Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which will have further details concerning the acquisition and the committed financing.
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