Catalent pairs with BASF on biovailability challenges
The deal is an open alliance centered on tackling bioavailability challenges. The hope is that by partnering Catalent’s development and manufacturing capabilities with BASF’s chemical and scientific know-how they’ll be able to more quickly develop formulations of hard-to-dissolve or hard-to-absorb pharmaceutical ingredients.
I talked this week with Catalent’s senior vice president for innovation and growth, Kurt Nielsen.
“One way to think about it is we know what we want the ingredients to do, and BASF has designed or can design the ingredients to meet the performance needs of the formulation,” Nielsen said. “That’s really what we bring to each other.”
BASF has its hand in a number of business sectors, but a large part of its business is making pharmaceutical ingredients.
Nielsen said the partnership will help his company move more quickly at a time when it’s being asked to solve more and more complex problems.
“It’s almost invaluable when I think about it in terms of speed and efficient use of capital to be able to very quickly turn to a group of scientists for BASF and say I’ve got this problem, can you help us with it?” Nielsen said.
Nielsen said right now the partnership is focused on the pending launch of Catalent’s OptiMelt hot-melt extrusion technology for poorly soluble drugs. He said they’re likely to add other technologies to the partnership in the coming months and years.
Nielsen said the deal also marks something of a new model for Catalent as it turns to external partners to bolster its capabilities.
“I think it’s a new model that not just Catalent and BASF are exploring, but that many other companies are exploring given the challenges in the business environment today,” he said.
Nielsen said this kind of deal provides Catalent’s clients with seamless solutions, while sparing Catalent the cost and time of bringing such capabilities in-house.
“There’s a lot of discussion in the pharma business today about collaboration and strategic partnering,” he said. “…We’re out there collaborating around innovation and in a way I think were paving the way. And we think that’s going to be of a huge benefit to our customers.”