Novo Holdings, primary owner of Novo Nordisk, to buy Catalent

Drug contract development and manufacturing company Catalent Inc., with operations in the Triangle and Greenville, is expected to become a part of Novo Holdings by the end of 2024 in a $16.5 billion deal that the companies announced Monday.

The transaction, however, does not specifically involve the North Carolina operations of Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical giant that’s 77% owned by Novo Holdings.

Novo Holdings plans to buy all outstanding shares of Catalent, headquartered in Somerset, N.J., for $63.50 per share. Catalent operates an analytics center of excellence in Morrisville and is opening a new $40 million biologics analytical services center in Durham. The company also has a 333,000-square-foot facility in Greenville that provides analytical, manufacturing and packaging services for drugs in oral solid dose forms.Novo logo

In a companion announcement, Novo Nordisk said it planned to buy three Catalent sites - in Bloomington, Ind., as well as Belgium and Italy - following the completion of the Novo Holdings-Catalent acquisition.

Novo Nordisk has manufacturing centers in Clayton and Durham, employing a total of about 1,800 people.

Strong worldwide demand for weight-loss and diabetes medications is a key reason behind the two agreements. Novo Nordisk makes Ozempic, a treatment for type 2 diabetes, and Wegovy, which is approved for treating obesity. Both belong to the class of drugs known as GLP-1 agonists, which are seeing surging demand and manufacturing shortages.

Novo Nordisk needs additional capacity for making the drugs. Catalent operates “fill-finish” sites that Novo Nordisk and other drugmakers use for filling and packaging syringes and injection pens.

Catalent logoBoth Catalent and Novo Nordisk have expanded their North Carolina facilities in the last few years. In 2022, Catalent began its Greenville operations with the purchase of Metrics Contract Services. Novo Nordisk, which has been in the state for three decades, last year donated $6 million to Durham Technical Community College to support the school’s life sciences program and build a new Life Sciences Training Center. 

Kyle Marshall, NCBiotech Writer
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