Catalent to Acquire RheinCell Therapeutics, Strengthening the Path Towards Industrialization of iPSC-based Therapies

SOMERSET, N.J. – June 24, 2021 — Catalent, the leading global provider of advanced delivery technologies, development, and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, cell and gene therapies, and consumer health products, today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire RheinCell Therapeutics GmbH, a developer and manufacturer of GMP-grade human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Upon completion, the acquisition will build upon Catalent’s existing custom cell therapy process development and manufacturing capabilities with proprietary GMP cell lines for iPSC-based therapies. The deal will enable Catalent to offer the building blocks to scale iPSC-based cell therapies while reducing barriers to entry to the clinic for therapeutic companies and is expected to close before the end of 2021, subject to customary conditions. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

iPSCs are cells that can be differentiated into various cell types to address a wide range of therapeutic indications. Founded in 2017, RheinCell has undertaken significant research and development of full GMP human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched cell banks with superior genomic integrity, as well as investing in development-scale operational capabilities. RheinCell is based in Langenfeld, near Düsseldorf, Germany. Upon closing, RheinCell’s current employees will join Catalent’s Cell & Gene Therapy business.

“We formed RheinCell based on our deep scientific and regulatory expertise in the promising field of cell-based therapies,” commented Juergen Weisser, Chief Executive Officer, RheinCell Therapeutics. He added, “We are convinced Catalent will be able to substantially accelerate RheinCell’s future growth and help to support customers around the globe that are interested in our GMP-grade iPSC lines and iPSC-based services to feed their development pipelines in this exciting and highly demanding new therapeutic field.”

“By offering a renewable, and standardized, source of cells for further product development, iPSCs have the potential to be a disruptive technology that could fuel the development of the next generation of cell therapies and substantially enhance the ability to manufacture at scale,” said Julien Meissonnier, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Catalent. He added, “Catalent is committed to building a full-scale value chain for emerging modalities and accelerating their path to market through expertise and innovation. This acquisition further strengthens Catalent’s position in these new therapeutic areas, by pioneering tools and techniques to substantially advance scale-up to meet the demands of clinical and commercial manufacturing.”

“This latest acquisition fuels the extraordinary growth of Catalent Cell & Gene Therapy, and the expertise and deep knowledge in iPSC cell lines that RheinCell brings will immediately boost our cell therapy portfolio, allowing us to offer iPSC banks to our customers as a premium source for their therapeutic development pathway,” said Manja Boerman, Ph.D., President, Catalent Cell & Gene Therapy. She added, “The addition of the RheinCell team to our growing cell therapy network will create an opportunity to share cutting-edge expertise across our global centers of excellence.”

Since 2020, Catalent has invested in its cell therapy capabilities with four strategic expansions at its Gosselies, Belgium, campus – the location of its European Center of Excellence for cell and gene therapy. Together with its U.S. cell and gene therapy facilities across Texas and Maryland, Catalent continues to increase its clinical and commercial-scale manufacturing capabilities across the full range of cell and gene therapy activity.

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