Catalent Biologics boosts gene therapy footprint

Mogrify raises $16m to boost cell therapy development
Credit: Sergey Nivens

Catalent Biologics is expanding its gene therapy footprint by acquiring the manufacturing assets and capabilities of Maryland-based biotech Novavax.

The acquisition provides Catalent’s Paragon Gene Therapy unit with leases of two Novavax product development and manufacturing facilities.

This provides it with immediate access to state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, people and space to accelerate the growth of its gene therapy development and manufacturing business.

This arrangement significantly reduces Novavax’ operating costs and provides a cash payment at closing of approximately $18 million.

This cost savings and cash infusion allow Novavax to focus on advancing NanoFlu and ResVax through the next phases of clinical development and regulatory review.

As per the agreement, Paragon Gene Therapy will purchase from Novavax all of the related manufacturing equipment and facility assets; in addition, over 100 of Novavax’ highly qualified manufacturing and quality employees will transfer to Paragon.

Concurrently, Novavax will be entering into a long-term arrangement with Paragon to provide process development and manufacturing services for specified Novavax programs. The transactions are expected to close in July 2019.

Most Novavax employees at the two sites will transfer to Paragon and will continue to provide process and analytical development and, potentially, manufacture GMP materials for Novavax’ clinical trial supplies for NanoFlu and ResVax, among other new projects.

These employees will also provide continuity and support of Novavax’ biologics license applications and post-licensure activities. Over the longer term, Paragon will be available to manufacture commercial quantities of the vaccines for Novavax.