Catalent continues to scout acquisitions and licensing in 2016

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Catalent will pursue strategic acquisitions and licensing in 2016, said VP Marketing & Strategy Elliott Berger, noting growth areas include complex delivery technologies and specialised logistics.

The fragmented contract manufacturing and pharma services sectors are being incentivised to accelerate consolidation because of growing client demand for fewer providers, Berger said.

Catalent  has completed several delivery technology-focused acquisitions in recent years, including late-2014 purchases of Micron Technologies and Redwood's SMARTag ADC. The contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) has also been acquisitive in regions such as China and Brazil, Berger added, noting it would be open to further such opportunities.

Technologies which improve solubility and bioavailability of increasingly complex new therapies continue to be of interest for Catalent, Berger added.

Berger did not reveal potential target or deal size, nor give guidance on any warchest the company may have. Catalent's cash and cash equivalents in its most recent quarterly report -- released November 2015 -- was $151.4 million.

Meanwhile, demand for more global clinical trials continues to rise, meaning localised logistics capabilities such as cold chain distribution and specialised handling and packaging services are a growth target for Catalent, Berger said.

Asia Pacific in particular is seeing mounting popularity as a trial destination, and as target markets for commercialisation, he said. Earlier this month plans for expansion of the company's cGMP facility in Japan for secondary packaging and clinical supply services was announced.

The Somerset, New Jersey-based firm is also experiencing growing demands for specialty handling services such as scheduled storage, cold chain logistics and handling of potent and cytotoxic compounds as biologics and biosimilars popularity continues, Berger said.

In its most recent annual report, released in September 2015, Catalent said it will remain opportunistic to acquisitions and referred to its nine acquisitions since fiscal year 2012 totalling more than $700m investment. 

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