Catalent opens newest clinical supply site in Japan, expanding its footprint in the Pacific Rim
New Jersey powerhouse CDMO Catalent has opened its newest clinical supply facility in Shiga, Japan.
The facility will help Catalent expand its Asia-Pacific network, and adds to the two sites it already has in China, as well as another in Singapore, to help serve patients’ clinical trials across the region. It’s 6,000 square meters — what Catalent says is the largest of its kind in Japan — and was acquired from Teva/Takeda Pharmaceuticals in 2020. Catalent spent the last year redeveloping the site.
It will feature primary packaging and “white glove” services, which is a method of shipping and receiving that requires more attention than normal due to the fragility of the products. Japan used to require that manufacturers actually wore white gloves and while it’s no longer a rule, said Eric Valentine, the VP of clinical supply services, it is still customary in the country.
Catalent has been in Japan for 40 years with a commercial soft-gel site in operation. But in 2013, the company put clinical supply services in place, and the demand has been so strong, the site has run out of capacity. Japan is currently third in the world for clinical trials, and Catalent wanted to ensure that the demand is met going forward.
“We’ve entered Singapore from an acquisition we did in 2012, and right after that we also had gone ahead and built a facility in Shanghai in a free trade zone. The demand there, we saw was pretty strong and over the last couple of years, we’ve been searching for a facility to support the growth in Japan,” he said in a call with Endpoints News on Wednesday. “It’s a unique market … that’s why we were looking for expansion opportunities.”
The company added cold-chain capabilities for the potential manufacturing of biologics. Valentine said that it will be the first non-Japanese company in Japan to offer primary packaging.
Roel de Nobel, the VP and general manager of Catalent Clinical supply services in the Asia Pacific, said in a press release:
Shiga will become a key hub in our Asia-Pacific Clinical Supply Services network, with Japan now representing the third-largest clinical trials market in the world. The new site builds upon Catalent’s 40 years of in-country presence, and in addition to bi-lingual English and Japanese project and clinical supply management, will provide primary and secondary packaging and labeling, storage and distribution, cold chain handling, and in-country returns and destruction services.