Catalent To Acquire Juniper Pharmaceuticals in $133-Million Deal
Catalent has agreed to acquire Juniper Pharmaceuticals, a Boston, Massachusetts-headquartered specialty pharmaceutical company with contract development and manufacturing services, including its Nottingham, UK-based Juniper Pharma Services Division, in a deal worth $133 million.
The acquisition of Juniper would expand Catalent’s offerings in formulation development, bioavailability solutions, and clinical-scale oral-dose manufacturing and add to its global clinical and commercial supply network.
Juniper has capabilities in solid-state and preclinical formulation screening for lead-candidate selection and phase-appropriate dose-form development. Juniper provides bioavailability-enhancement services for developing 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.
Catalent will continue to support Juniper’s franchise for Crinone (progesterone gel), a female hormone deficiency drug, 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.
Under the acquisition agreement, a subsidiary of Catalent will begin a tender offer to purchase all of Juniper’s shares for a price of $11.50, net to the seller in cash. Following the conclusion of the tender offer, Catalent intends to complete the transaction by acquiring the remainder of the Juniper shares at the same price through a merger with a newly formed wholly owned subsidiary of Catalent. The acquisition of Juniper is subject to certain customary closing conditions, including that a majority of Juniper’s shares are tendered into the offer. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of Catalent’s 2019 fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2018.
Catalent says the acquisition of Juniper will allow it to create parallel capabilities in the US and UK. In 2016, Catalent acquired Pharmatek Laboratories and has invested in its San Diego facility to create a center of excellence for early drug development on the West Coast in the US. Earlier this year (2018), Catalent announced that it would invest in its Somerset, New Jersey facility to create a similarly focused center of excellence on the East Coast in the US. Juniper plans to provide similar capabilities in the UK and add to Catalent’s multi-site oral manufacturing network.