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Catalent and Parexel forge partnership

Published on 09/10/12 at 11:18am

Catalent Pharma Solutions has formed an alliance with Parexel in a further boost to its aspirations in clinical trial material (CTM) supply.

In February, Catalent paid $410 million to buy Aptuit's clinical trial supply business in a transaction that made it the second-largest company in the sector.

The new deal combines Parexel's trial management and logistics services with Catalent's manufacturing and packaging capabilities, creating what the companies say is an 'end-to-end' service for drug developers.

"We have seen demand from clients for a robust solution that can address the challenge of efficiently managing clinical trial material logistics across large numbers of global sites," said Kurt Norris, worldwide head of clinical logistics services at Parexel.

The new alliance will "help companies reach critical development milestones sooner through more efficient manufacturing, packaging and delivery of clinical trial material supplies", he added.

The Parexel and Aptuit deals came in the wake of a revamp of Catalent's clinical operations in 2009 which saw its analytical science, regulatory affairs and clinical supply divisions merged into one single business unit.

Since then, the company has sold off non-core activities - such as commercial packaging - to focus more closely on its clinical supply operations.

Parexel's chief operating officer Mark Goldberg recently emphasised the importance of being able to provide "a convergence of technology, services and innovative development approaches" if outsourcing companies hope to win strategic-level deals with biopharma companies.

Strategic agreements can help companies both large and small "improve early-stage decisions, accelerate product development, maximize investments, and take advantage of new technologies to increase efficiency, quality and safety", he added.

Catalent is controlled by private equity firm Blackstone Group, which paid about $3.3 billion to Cardinal Health for the business in 2007. Financial terms of the deal with Parexel have not been disclosed.

Phil Taylor

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