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Catalent, still buzzing with pandemic momentum, taps COO Maselli to succeed Chiminski as chief executive

January 5, 2022 Fraiser Kansteiner

After two banner years on the forefront of COVID-19 vaccine production, contract manufacturing juggernaut Catalent has unveiled a changing of the guard.

On July 1, Catalent’s current president and chief operating officer Alessandro Maselli will take up the mantle of chief executive officer. He’ll succeed long-time CEO John Chiminski, who’s slated to become executive chair of the CDMO’s board of directors. 

Catalent COO
Alessandro Maselli 
(Catalent/Business Wire)

Catalent’s star has risen sharply over the past two years, thanks in large part to the manufacturer’s manifold COVID-19 production partnerships. The CDMO reported revenues of $4 billion in its fiscal year 2021, a 26% increase at constant currencies versus 2020. Looking ahead, the company forecasted revenue growth between 8% and 13% for 2022. 

As part of its pandemic response, Catalent is chipping in on production of Moderna’s mRNA-based shot, plus Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca’s vaccines. The company is also helping out on several investigational vaccine candidates in addition to an experimental antiviral and a monoclonal antibody drug hopeful. 

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“I’m energized by Catalent’s strong momentum, and I look forward to continuing the record of performance and growth that John established for Catalent,” Maselli said in a statement.

An 11-year veteran of the CDMO, Maselli joined Catalent back in October 2010 and become chief operating officer in February 2019. He started his run at the company as director of operations at Catalent’s pharmaceutical, nutritional and cosmetics plant in Aprilia, Italy.

Chiminski, for his part, joined Catalent after more than two decades at GE Healthcare. He served as president and chief executive officer of the GE Medical Diagnostics unit from 2007 to 2009. Prior to that, he was vice president and general manager of GE Healthcare’s Global Magnetic Resonance business from 2005 to 2007, and from 2001 to 2005, he served as VP and general manager of global healthcare services.

“I am grateful and humbled to have had the opportunity to lead Catalent over the past 12 years,” Chiminski said in a statement. “Alessandro knows every aspect of Catalent’s business and has been instrumental in developing and executing our strategy, including ensuring that Catalent was prepared to manufacture over 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses that we successfully delivered in record time during 2021,” he continued.

Chiminski will remain CEO until July 1, at which point he’ll transition into the role of executive chair of the company’s board. Maselli is also slated to join Catalent’s board of directors when he takes up the CEO post.

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Beyond its pandemic work, Catalent has recently placed some big bets on expanding its cell and gene therapy manufacturing capacity. A little less than a year ago, Catalent locked in a deal to acquire plasmid DNA cell and gene therapy CDMO Delphi Genetics. 

In May, it acquired Promethera Biosciences’ cell therapy manufacturing subsidiary Hepatic Cell Therapy Support, adding a fourth company to its cell and gene therapy campus in Gosselies, Belgium. 

Back in The States, meanwhile, Catalent in October said it would lay out $230 million to beef up viral vector manufacturing at its Harmans, Maryland, gene therapy campus.

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