“Juniper’s proven solutions and capabilities will further support Catalent’s strategic goal to be the most comprehensive partner for pharmaceutical innovators,” commented Jonathan Arnold, President of Catalent Oral Drug Delivery. “Juniper’s scientific expertise in early-phase product development and supply will help our customers unlock the full potential of their molecules and provide better treatments to patients, faster.”
Juniper’s nearly 150 employees have deep scientific expertise in formulation development, and supply, and will augment Catalent’s current portfolio of solid-state screening, preformulation, formulation, analytical, and bioavailability enhancement solutions, including development of spray-dried dispersions, with integrated development, analytical, and clinical manufacturing co-located in its Nottingham facility.
Catalent will continue to support Juniper’s CRINONE® (progesterone gel) franchise marketed by Merck KGaA outside of the U.S. 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. The acquisition of Juniper is subject to certain customary closing conditions, including that a majority of Juniper’s shares are tendered into the offer, and is expected to close in the first quarter of Catalent’s 2019 fiscal year, which began on July 1, 2018.
Like Catalent, Juniper has expertise in solid-state and preclinical formulation screening for lead-candidate selection, phase-appropriate dose-form development, and superior technologies for challenging molecules, which will strengthen and expand on Catalent’s OptiForm® Solution Suite platform. Juniper provides bioavailability enhancement solutions for the development of 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.
In 2016, Catalent purchased Pharmatek Laboratories, Inc. and has invested in its San Diego facility to create a center of excellence for early drug development on the U.S. West Coast. Earlier this year, Catalent announced that it would invest in its Somerset, New Jersey facility to create a similarly focused center of excellence on America’s East Coast. Juniper will now provide similar capabilities in the U.K. and will complement Catalent’s multi-site oral manufacturing network to provide pharmaceutical innovators with a comprehensive solution to accelerate their drug development processes.
Under its acquisition agreement with Juniper, a subsidiary of Catalent will promptly commence 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.