Catalent Completes Shanghai Plant Expansion

06.12.2022 - US-headquartered CDMO giant Catalent has completed the expansion of its clinical supply facility in the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Shanghai, China.

The company said the project has increased the size of the Chinese facility by nearly 23,000 m2, which has allowed it to install additional refrigerated (2-8°C) and deep-frozen (minus 70°to minus 90C°) storage space and expand secondary packaging capabilities.

Waigaoqiao is one of two clinical supply facilities that Catalent operates in greater Shanghai, the other is located in Tangzhen, outside the FTZ. Together, the company said the units provide sponsors with optimized supply solutions for studies being undertaken in China, and through Catalent’s extensive network, the Asia-Pacific region and globally.

These include clinical supply management, comparator sourcing, FastChain demand-led supply, primary and secondary packaging, storage and global distribution, as well as clinical returns and destruction.

“China is the fastest growing clinical trials market in the Asia-Pacific region, and Catalent continues to invest and expand its facilities and services to offer reliable, flexible, and integrated support to customers,” said Tracey Clare, general manager, APAC Operations.

“These additional capabilities increase the site’s ability to support clinical trials for advanced therapeutics, which often require specialized storage and handling capabilities,” Clare said.

Layoffs at US manufacturing sites

Catalent has meanwhile confirmed reports that it is trimming back jobs at some of its US facilities. The CDMO said it has begun to implement “cost efficiency activities” as it closes some production sites, while offering severance and job transition support to all impacted employees.

At Bloomington, Indiana, one of the company’s major locations, more than 400 positions will be cut, and In Texas and Maryland, more than 210 jobs will go.

During the pandemic, a Catalent spokesperson told pharma trade journal Fierce Pharma that the company significantly increased its cost base to continue to meet the needs of its customers and deliver essential products, as well as to meet the needs specific to the pandemic.

"Given the current phase of the pandemic, the challenging global economic environment and the need to ensure that Catalent continues to operate efficiently, we have made the difficult decision to reduce or delay some capital expenditure projects and also reduce the size of our workforce in certain areas,” a spokesperson said.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist