WI: Biotech Company to Expand in Madison Area, Filling 100+ Jobs

22 Jan, 2021

Catalent Inc., the Somerset, New Jersey-based, multibillion-dollar biotech and consumer health products company, is looking to fill over 100 jobs for its Madison-area operations in 2021, mostly due to rising demand for its commercial bio-manufacturing capabilities.
During a recent webinar hosted by BioForward, the Madison-based advocacy and resource organization for Wisconsin's biotechnology and life sciences industry, Catalent Biologics-Madison general manager Graham Brearley talked about how the Covid-19 pandemic has led to "significant demand increases" for the business.
The Madison contract development and manufacturing division has several clients working on Covid-19 related programs, Brearley said, including clients that make therapeutics to treat symptoms caused by Covid-19. Those customers have accelerated into phase 3 of their clinical trial studies and Brearley anticipates one client may soon receive FDA emergency use authorization.
Other clients are adapting their technologies and applying them toward fighting the virus, he said. One client's mRNA molecule sequence can be used to create a vaccine for the virus. Within seven weeks, including the initial planning talks, Catalent's Madison operation was able to produce the first GMP, or good manufacturing practice, of the client's product, which is typically a six- to 12-month process, he said.
"To condense that months' worth of work in seven weeks is just incredible," Brearley said.
The Madison operation has about 400 employees but Brearley anticipates growing to over 500 by the end of 2021. The company currently is looking to fill 125 jobs, he said.
In January of 2019, Catalent announced it was embarking on a near $100 million investment project to expand operations at its Madison manufacturing facilities over a three-year period.
The investment project in Madison was said to add 60,000 square feet of production space and is renovating 20,000 square feet of existing building space, specifically for increasing mammalian cell culture capacity with the build-out of two new suites. Brearley said the two suites are coming online this year. The division's main building in Middleton spans 240,000 square feet, he said, which includes eight laboratories.
The expansion is doubling Catalent’s commercial bio-manufacturing capacity, the company previously stated. The Madison site is used to develop the company’s proprietary GPEx cell line development technology.