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Vivian Xie
7 Feb 2024

Novo Holdings buys CDMO Catalent in US$16.5 billion deal

Novo Nordisk’s holding and investment parent company will acquire the publicly owned CDMO at the end of 2024, taking it private and selling three of its drug manufacturing facilities to Novo Nordisk. 

The Danish pharmaceutical giant, in headline news regarding its popular semaglutide drug product Wegovy for weight loss indications, will complete the transaction towards the end of this year. The move is expected to enable Novo Nordisk to meet record-high demand for Wegovy with expanded fill-finish capacity.

Novo Holdings acts as the investment arm of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, buying Catalent’s shares for US$11.5 billion. Once the deal is complete, the company plans to sell three fill-finish sites in Italy, Belgium and the US to Novo Nordisk for US$11 billion.  

CEO of Novo Holdings Kasim Kutay described the deal in a statement: “We are excited to partner with Catalent as it enters a new phase of growth and accelerates its mission to develop, manufacture, and supply products that help people live better and healthier lives.” The three fill-finish sites employ a total of over 3000 individuals and all have continuing collaborations with their soon-to-be parent company.  

Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen stated the acquisition would “enable us to serve significantly more people living with diabetes and obesity in the future... [complementing] the significant investments we are already doing in active pharmaceutical ingredients facilities.” Increasing competition from other pharmaceutical companies in the obesity drug race may cause the market to be worth up to US$100 billion by the end of the decade. US rival Eli Lilly is already FDA approved for chronic weight management.  

Sources: Novo Nordisk’s parent to buy Catalent for $16.5 bln to boost Wegovy supply [Accessed February 7, 2024]  

Novo Holdings to buy CDMO Catalent for $16.5bn [Accessed February 5, 2024]  

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Catalent Pharma Solutions
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Vivian Xie
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