CEO SPOTLIGHT: JOHN CHIMINSKI
pabilities. The combined biologics development, biomanufacturing and fill-finish capabilities of Catalent and Cook will provide
biopharmaceutical firms with a single, integrated partner supporting a wide range of clinical and commercial needs. Our plan
is to invest aggressively at the Cook’s facility in Bloomington, IN,
as well as in our rapidly expanding Madison, WI, facility, where
we are currently in the process of a $34 million investment, and
in the rest of the Catalent Biologics network to build a true global
leader in the biologics market and help us to improve the lives of
patients around the world.
CP: What appealed to you about Cook as an acquisition target?
JC: What was a great fit for Catalent with Cook Pharmica is
that, under one roof, it houses extensive biomanufacturing capacity and deep expertise in sterile formulation and fill/finish
across liquid and lyophilized vials, prefilled syringes, and cartridges, augmenting Catalent’s expertise in cell line engineering, bioconjugate development, analytical services, biomanufacturing, prefilled syringe, and blow/fill/seal technologies. We
look forward to having the deal completed and welcoming
its 750 employees, including its experienced executive team,
to Catalent’s existing network of more than 30 sites and our
CP: What are some other general trends you see?
JC: Another trend today is we’re seeing a lot of VC-backed small
cap companies. In fact, 75 percent of what I think is in the pipeline is mostly coming from these small and mid-sized companies. They don’t have the resources of large pharma and so they’re
really looking for someone who can be their partner. Because
they’re a virtual company they need the hard assets from a company like Catalent.
These companies are looking to use our formulation expertise and to use our clinical trial supplies. And they’re looking at
obviously using our finished dosage form manufacturing of that
product if it ultimately gets approved. So we see a much stronger
partnership environment that didn’t exist a decade ago. At that
time, contract manufacturers were purely contract manufacturers.
Companies now are looking for a true partnership that is going
to help them in the discovery and formulation phases, and then
ultimately hope to help them do the final manufacturing. In fact,
that’s a trend that is increasing from a finished dosage form outsourcing standpoint. It’s going to jump from about 30 percent to
40 percent by the year 2020. That’s what our statistics show and
that’s a big change.
Another change is Big Pharma, in a very broad sense, is really
looking at ways to variablize their costs, and any chance that they
can do this by having an external partner is better than investing
in a lot of big fixed assets. Because generally, what happens is
they get a drug approved, they’ve got a seven to 10-year window
of exclusivity and then it’s gone. And you know, as humans you
think of seven to 10 years as a long period of time, but it’s really
the clock cycle of this industry from discovery to approval. That’s
the pace at which it moves. Also, you’ve got up to $2 billion dol-
lars on average being spent per molecule. When you blink in this
industry another decade is gone and another slew of molecules
has come and the other ones have gone generic. So, to the extent
pharma companies can create variable costs instead of having
fixed costs is important because fixed assets are 30 to 40-year as-
sets, they’re not 10-year assets.
CP: What is one of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry
since arriving at Catalent?
JC: I would say pharma companies are really looking at contract manufacturers much more as partners. That’s been the
biggest shift in the industry. When I first came to Catalent, we
were simply referred to as a ‘contract manufacturer.’ Not in a
derogatory way, but it also wasn’t complimentary either. While
being labelled a contract manufacturing organization (CMO)
is a proper term, the idea is you’re just a third-party manufacturer. You make our stuff. That’s it. I would say the biggest
thing that I’ve done from the mindset of our customers and
then within our team is to say look, we’re a pharmaceutical
services provider. We’re doing formulation, we’re doing development. With our recent acquisition of Pharmatek, we’re also
now in the preclinical space, helping customers make fast decisions about whether a molecule is going to stay in the pipeline or be killed.
We have technologies that our customers don’t have, which
is ultimately why they’re coming to us. So, they’re really relying
on us. We are thought of as a partner and this idea of partnership
is what has led the industry to adopt the term contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO). The“D” is a very
important part. If you’re just a pure CMO doing a solid oral dose
that a customer can do internally or externally and you just happen to have the capabilities, you’re truly a CMO. In Catalent’s
case, our strategy is to capture the molecule from the customer,
meaning we partner with you to try to solve the molecule’s problem. This could be solving bioavailability issues, poor solubility,
or choosing the right dosage form. How can we help make this
be a dosage form that will lead to higher patient compliance? You
work on that product with the customer to help them supply it
for their clinical phase 1, 2 and 3 trials and then ultimately do the
manufacturing. That’s what Catalent does.
“[P]harma companies are really looking at contract manufacturers much
more as partners. That’s been the biggest shift in the industry.”