Catalent lands manufacturing deal with Supernus

Catalent has partnered up with Supernus Pharmaceuticals ($SUPN) to supply the generics maker's extended-release epilepsy drug, a product the companies say has a chance to snag a share of a big market.

Last year, Supernus scored success on the Street thanks to buzz over Trokendi XR, an extended-release formulation of Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) Topamax, but excitement--and the company's share price--dwindled as the drug's launch lagged.

This month, the Rockville, MD, outfit has finally started shipping the capsules, and the company has sided with Catalent for manufacturing, putting its faith in Catalent's well-established controlled-release business. Neither party is disclosing financial particulars.

"Supernus selected Catalent as our commercial supply partner based on their extensive experience in manufacturing extended-release products, the longstanding relationship we have had with them and a proven track record of high quality," CEO Jack Khattar said in a statement.

Available formulations of Topamax--known as topiramate sans-branding--require multiple administrations per day, and Supernus is counting on its once-daily product to deliver a boost to sales. That's where Catalent comes in, and Barry Littlejohns, the contract manufacturer's president of Advanced Delivery Technologies, said his company's decades of experience in controlled release development will help realize that goal.

Catalent has been working to expand its heft in controlled release of late, in June announcing plans to spend $35 million to add about 80,000 square feet to a Kentucky manufacturing plant. The Somerset, NJ, company has also spent millions to grow its inhalable drug capabilities and biologics manufacturing this year.

- read the statement