Bloomington tapped for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business): New Jersey-based Catalent Inc. has inked a deal with a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson for large-scale manufacturing of J&J’s lead vaccine candidate for COVID-19.

The collaboration commits to a joint investment for production at the Catalent Biologics facility in Bloomington. Catalent says it plans to add 300 jobs beginning in July in order to begin 24/7 manufacturing schedules by January. The company’s Bloomington operation currently employs more than 1,200.

Financial details of the investment were not disclosed.

Catalent’s Bloomington General Manager Denis Johnson says the scale-up essentially amounts to “adding a small factory to what is already a large factory” in a very compressed time frame:

“Catalent is proud to collaborate with Johnson & Johnson in its efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic and save lives,” John Chiminski, chief executive officer of Catalent, said in a news release. “Both organizations have committed to ambitious goals and are executing innovative strategies to meet the forecasted demand on an unprecedented timeline. We value the trust that Johnson & Johnson has placed in us regarding this important, time-sensitive program and will apply our extensive experience in quickly scaling up manufacturing operations for late-stage and commercial products.”

Catalent says the scale-up in production at its 875,000-square-foot facility in Bloomington will include the use of two new high-speed machines. The facility focuses on sterile drug product development and manufacturing, as well as primary and secondary packaging.

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