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Catalent unit closes deal on leasing gene therapy facilities from Novavax

Catalent Inc.'s Paragon Gene Therapy unit assumed leases for two Novavax Inc. facilities in Gaithersburg, Md., and purchased manufacturing equipment and related assets for about $18 million.

Paragon Gene Therapy, which specializes in gene therapies, vaccines and antibody-drug conjugates, also hired 100 Novavax employees, as part of the transaction agreed in late June. The deal is now closed.

The deal provides Paragon with resources to accelerate the growth of its gene therapy development and contract manufacturing businesses, according to a news release.

Novavax said projected cost savings from the personnel and lease transfers, along with proceeds from the asset sale will enable it to conduct a phase 3 clinical trial for its vaccine NanoFlu.

The trial is scheduled to begin in the third quarter.

Additionally, Novavax entered into a services arrangement to receive certain development and manufacturing services from the Somerset, N.J.-based Catalent's Paragon.