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Catalent acquires VMIC and plans to invest £120m
Pharmaceutical development and manufacturing company Catalent has acquired the government-funded Vaccine Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) – a biologics development and manufacturing facility currently under construction at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.
Catalent plans to invest up to £120m to complete the building of the facility and equip it with state-of-the-art capabilities for the development and manufacture of biologic therapies and vaccines, including mRNA, proteins, and other advanced modalities.
It is expected that the new facility will employ more than 400 people and support public and private organisations seeking to develop and manufacture biotherapeutics.
Mike Riley, president of Catalent Biotherapeutics, said: “This acquisition allows Catalent to collaborate with the rich academic and biomedical science community centered around Oxford, with its world-class talent, and will result in a facility that provides opportunities to transform innovation into real treatments for patients across the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond. Our priority is to complete construction as soon as possible to be able to commence customer programs in 2022. We will then integrate its capabilities within our existing network of biologics facilities across Europe to offer a flexible range of manufacturing, technology, and development solutions for the pipeline of thousands of development programs currently underway.”
Professor Robin Shattock, head of mucosal infection and immunity at Imperial College London, and chair of the board of directors of VMIC, said: “This deal ensures the VMIC site, when completed, will stay true to the original purpose of strengthening the UK’s vaccine manufacturing capability by bringing innovation to the sector and getting more vaccines to the clinic. Catalent has the resources to ensure this facility can become operational and start contributing to the UK’s and Europe’s vaccines landscape at pace.”
Catalent has a long-standing presence in the UK, where its workforce already exceeds 1,300 people at its four facilities focused on development and manufacturing of oral dose forms, located in Nottingham, Swindon, Haverhill, and Dartford, in addition to a clinical trial supply site in Bathgate, Scotland. The Catalent Biotherapeutics network also includes sites in Italy, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and the United States.