Catalent CEO John Chiminski talks about his company’s work as if it were 1849 and there’s gold in Bloomington’s hills.
New Jersey-based Catalent Pharma Solutions has considered staking its claim in Bloomington for nearly 15 years. Conversations between the company and Bloomington’s Cook Group may pre-date Chiminski’s appointment to CEO in 2009, but it wasn’t until last year that the bioscience giants agreed to the $950 million sale of Cook Pharmica. In 1998, Thomson Consumer Electronics (formerly RCA) left the sprawling manufacturing complex at 1300 S. Patterson Drive in Bloomington. One of the complex’s main buildings sat vacant for six years before Cook Group converted the site in 2004 to become the area’s largest biomedical contract development and manufacturing company.
“They weren’t looking to maximize price; they were looking to maximize ownership,” Chiminski said of the deal with Cook Group. “We’re extremely happy with the acquisition. Cook had a tremendous reputation in the marketplace, and Bloomington and Indiana rank incredibly high in terms of the biosciences market.”
Now, Chiminski hopes to use the plant’s nearly 1 million square feet to fill his company’s strategic gaps and grow.
Catalent Pharma Solutions has 12,000 global employees across 35 locations that provide drug delivery technology and development solutions for consumer health products. According to its website, Catalent has been involved in more than 50 percent of new molecular entities approved by the FDA and launched in the United States since 2004. Simply put, if you’ve taken a product since then, there’s a more than 50 percent chance that Catalent worked on it.
“If you were to go into a CVS or Walgreens, and you saw a product that said liquid gels, that’s Catalent,” Chiminski said.
Elliott Berger, vice president of global marketing and strategy for Catalent, puts it another way. There’s a greater purpose to the more than 7,000 products Catalent currently has on the market.