Catalent: Sven Lee




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Video title: Catalent: Sven Lee
Released on: February 28, 2013. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, filmed at BioEurope 2012 in Hamburg, Germany, Fintan Walton talks to Sven Lee, VP Business Development at Catalent
Origin of Catalent Pharma Solutions
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here at BioEurope, in Hamburg, in 2012. On this show I have Sven Lee, who is Vice President of Business Development of Biologics at Catalent, welcome.
Sven Lee:
Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Fintan Walton:
Pleasure. Sven, could you describe to us what Catalent's business is?
Sven Lee:
So Catalent is an innovation delivery solutions company, really across the pharma and biotech industry. We work on small molecules, my specialty of course and our business unit focuses on large molecule development and Phase I, Phase II manufacturing.
Fintan Walton:
Okay, just on the origins of the company, because parts of Catalent go back through the R.P. Scherer days, so you've got a quite a legacy of technology and capability and know-how, tell us a little bit more about that?
Sven Lee:
Yes, so Catalent has really evolved through a lot of acquisition over the years. The biologics portion started at Dale in Wisconsin, R.P. Scherer as you mentioned we had a long collaboration of a joint venture, essentially with them and working with them [PharmaDeals ID = 2712] and recently we purchased the remaining part of R.P. Scherer that we didn't have [PharmaDeals ID = 45714]. So we are really known for a lot of our collaborations and acquisitions. Catalent was spun-out of Cardinal Health and we are now owned by The Blackstone Private Equity Group.
Catalent's development & clinical services
Fintan Walton:
Right, so that breadth of service that you provide to the pharmaceutical industry as you say ranges across clinical fields but also includes drug delivery systems including inhalation devices as well, so let's just focus a little bit more on you, because obviously your role is the biologics field, so what are Catalent's biologics capabilities?
Sven Lee:
So currently we have a technology called GPEx, GPEx is used as a gene insertion technology into mammalian cell lines. We've been very successful in doing that for a number of years now, again it was spun-out of the University of Wisconsin a number of years ago and we've been able to produce over 360 different proteins and antibodies over the years. Our customers currently have two programs, biosimilars that are on the market and numerous others that are through Phase I and Phase IIb in clinical trials currently. In our facility we have capabilities for cell line generation and Phase I and Phase II clinical manufacturing as well.
Fintan Walton:
Right, so to be clear then you provide services for clinical trials materials, particularly for obviously clinical trials, you don't manufacture commercial quantities?
Sven Lee:
We don't and we also, within Catalent we have capabilities in our development and analytical services group to do a lot of analytics on our molecules for customers as well and we also bridge the gap with collaborations for others that actually can do Phase III and commercial manufacturing, and then we have other parts of the organization with our medication delivery solutions that can provide prefilled syringes and other forms of delivery for biotech companies as well, but within our facility in Madison, Wisconsin, it's primarily focused on early development Phase I, Phase II manufactures for clinical trials.
Fintan Walton:
Right, biologics obviously covers mammalian cell culture but also it extends into bacterial, are you specialized in one particular?
Sven Lee:
Sure, so we only work with mammalian cells, primarily we work with CHO but we can also work with other mammalian cells. We also have a collaboration with CEVEC pharmaceuticals [PharmaDeals ID = 49549] that was recently announced and with them we've used their human CAPCell Line with our GPEx technology to produce very high yields and very stable cell lines for proteins which we also do for our own for products, for recombinant proteins and antibodies for other companies as well.
Special features of Catalent and its partnering strategies
Fintan Walton:
Right, and why should a company use Catalent over other service providers?
Sven Lee:
Well I think for a number of reasons, number one we have a phenomenal technology in GPEx, it's been proven with products that are currently on the market and those that are currently going through the clinic. We are probably the most stable cell line technology out there and can produce product or protein within three months after receiving a cDNA for evolution, and we've also been very known for our very good delivery and good results and we are now moving into new facility that will help to increase that capability.
Fintan Walton:
Okay and the types of clients that you have are they all big pharma or you get smaller companies as well?
Sven Lee:
Most of our companies are either small to mid-size pharma companies, because they are the ones that really need most of the help at their early development. The larger pharma, biotech companies have also evaluated our technology and we continue to work with them, often times they want to in-license or bring that technology in-house, so we have the technology available to do that or to provide service for many of the small companies that are out there that really need efficient very good cell lines to produce and then partner, potentially partner with other larger pharma or biotech companies.
Fintan Walton:
Right, I mean obviously biologics covers proteins and products like biosimilars, have you been involved in biosimialars ?
Sven Lee:
We have. I had mentioned earlier that we do have or our customers have a couple of biosimilars that are currently on the market. We work with a number of companies that are working on biosimilars and we have established numerous biosimilarcell lines ourselves that we have currently available for evaluation and for sale to customers that are interested in that, and we'll also provide those services in terms of their own sequence if they have their own proprietary sequence if they want to use as a biosimilars we can develop that themselves as well.
New biomanufacturing facility at Wisconsin
Fintan Walton:
Okay, the other thing that I heard is that you are in very close to completing a whole new biologics facility, what is that facility and what capabilities does it have?
Sven Lee:
Yes we are really excited about it, we've we are moving into a facility in Madison, Wisconsin, it's just few miles down the road from our current facility which will be closing down and we are going to start that transition early in the spring of 2013. The new facility will have 250, 500 and thousand liters single use bioreactors, our current capability is limited to 200 liters and with the larger capacity we'll really be able to service and help our customers that need more material for larger clinical trials and also will allow non-GPExcell lines to be brought into our facility where a 200 liter capacity which we currently have might have been a limiting factor for some companies to come with us, now we'll have that capability to provide enough material for clinical trials for those that aren't using GPEx as well.
Fintan Walton:
And is that facility following demand?
Sven Lee:
It is, because again you know it's a big opportunity for us, more companies are wanting to outsource, even some of the larger companies are now, we are having discussions with them in terms of looking at potential outsourcing for early development, early clinical material.
Fintan Walton:
Okay, so when is this facility actually going to open?
Sven Lee:
The first of it will be open sometime in the March, April timeframe, we would be fully over to the new facility by June of next year.
Fintan Walton:
Sven, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Sven Lee:
Thanks very much.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Sven Lee
VP Business Development
At the time of this PTV interview Sven Lee serves as VP Business Development at Catalent. Mr. Sven Lee is leading the Biologics sales team as the Vice President of Business Development at Catalent Pharma Solutions. Lee brings to Catalent eighteen years of experience in professional sales, marketing and commercialization, with experience in the biotech industry. He has extensive experience in developing global strategic and tactical plans for new product launches, including biologic technology, neurology, cardiology and rheumatology. Prior to joining Catalent, Mr. Lee served as the Director of Business Development of North America for Crucell Holland and previously held sales roles with Biogen Idec and Sanofi Winthrop Pharmaceuticals.
PharmaVentures
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialization.
Catalent Pharma Solutions, Inc.
Catalyst + talent = Catalent. At least, that's the brand Catalent Pharma Solutions is using to try to ensure its customers' success. The company provides contract development and manufacturing of oral (soft and hardshell capsules), topical (ointment applicators), sterile (syringes), and inhaled (nasal sprays) drug delivery products to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in some 100 countries. Catalent also provides packaging services, using bottles, pouches, and strips used to hold tablet, powder, and liquid medicines. Catalent operates 30 facilities worldwide. The company is owned by The Blackstone Group.