Catalent to acquire Juniper Pharmaceuticals

5 Jul 2018

$133 million deal adds European Early Development Center of Excellence to global network.

Catalent has agreed to acquire Juniper Pharmaceuticals, including its Nottingham, UK-based Juniper Pharma Services division. When combined with Catalent’s existing industry-leading drug development and manufacturing capabilities in the US and Europe, the acquisition of Juniper will expand and strengthen Catalent’s offerings in formulation development, bioavailability solutions and clinical-scale oral dose manufacturing, and will complement its integrated global clinical and commercial supply network.

Catalent to acquire Juniper Pharmaceuticals
Catalent’s acquisition of Jupiter Pharmaceuticals will complement its own early-phase development centers of excellence, such as the one in San Diego (pictured) where Catalent has extensive experience in spray-drying technologies.

“Juniper’s proven solutions and capabilities will further support Catalent’s strategic goal to be the most comprehensive partner for pharmaceutical innovators,” commented Jonathan Arnold, President of Catalent Oral Drug Delivery. “Juniper’s scientific expertise in early-phase product development and supply will help our customers unlock the full potential of their molecules and provide better treatments to patients, faster.”

Juniper’s nearly 150 employees have deep scientific expertise in formulation development, and supply, and will augment Catalent’s current portfolio of solid-state screening, preformulation, formulation, analytical, and bioavailability enhancement solutions, including development of spray-dried dispersions, with integrated development, analytical, and clinical manufacturing co-located in its Nottingham facility.

Catalent will continue to support Juniper’s CRINONE (progesterone gel) franchise marketed by Merck KGaA outside of the US. Juniper’s Intravaginal Ring development pipeline was previously licensed to Daré Bioscience, and Catalent will not be involved in the further development of this program. The acquisition of Juniper is subject to certain customary closing conditions, including that a majority of Juniper’s shares are tendered into the offer, and is expected to close in the first quarter of Catalent’s 2019 fiscal year, which began on 1 July 2018.

Like Catalent, Juniper has expertise in solid-state and preclinical formulation screening for lead-candidate selection, phase-appropriate dose-form development, and superior technologies for challenging molecules, which will strengthen and expand on Catalent’s OptiForm Solution Suite platform. Juniper provides bioavailability enhancement solutions for the development of poorly soluble compounds, including nano-milling, spray drying, hot-melt extrusion, lipid-based drug delivery, and cGMP clinical manufacturing, including specialized facilities and controls for potent and controlled substances.

In 2016, Catalent purchased Pharmatek Laboratories, Inc. and has invested in its San Diego facility to create a center of excellence for early drug development on the U.S. West Coast. Earlier this year, Catalent announced that it would invest in its Somerset, New Jersey facility to create a similarly focused center of excellence on America’s East Coast. Juniper will now provide similar capabilities in the UK and will complement Catalent’s multi-site oral manufacturing network to provide pharmaceutical innovators with a comprehensive solution to accelerate their drug development processes.

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