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Catalent (CTLT) Inks Deal for Feasibility Study of CBD Product

Catalent, Inc. CTLT recently inked a development agreement with JOS Pharmaceuticals, according to which the former will commence a viability study for the potential development of a licensed cannabidiol (“CBD”) product to be used as an anesthetic premedication. Per the agreement terms, the study will be using Catalent’s proprietary Zydis orally disintegrating tablet (“ODT”) technology.

For investors’ note, JOS Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focusing on anesthesiology. The company extracts CBD from certified hemp and is creating its se•d8 prescription CBD wafer for awake sedation anesthesia administered for cataract surgery as well as for anxiolysis during magnetic resonance imaging procedures.

The latest agreement is expected to significantly strengthen Catalent’s Oral and Specialty Delivery segment across the globe.

Rationale Behind the Deal

The feasibility study will focus on establishing proof of concept and prototype development of a Zydis formulation of a highly purified and naturally derived CBD. It should be noted in this regard that Zydis technology creates a freeze-dried tablet that disperses almost instantly in the mouth without water and is considered to be among the world’s best-performing ODTs.

Per Catalent’s management, CBD derived from hemp is a rapidly developing market, and the company is looking forward to applying its experience and expertise in product development of this licensed program.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by Grand View Research, the global cannabidiol market was valued at $2.8 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 21.2% from 2021 to 2028. Factors like its healing properties, and growing acceptance and use of products are likely to drive the market.

Given the market potential, the inking of the agreement seems to have been timed well.

Other Notable Deals of Catalent

Catalent has entered into a few notable deals across its businesses over the past few months.

The company, in June, reached an agreement to acquire RheinCell Therapeutics GmbH, which is expected to close before the end of 2021, subject to customary conditions.

Catalent, in May, announced that it has begun a global innovation partnership with Norwegian biotech company Hofseth BioCare ASA to develop a delayed-release formulation of HBC’s OmeGo fish oil.

The same month, Catalent acquired Promethera Biosciences’ cell therapy manufacturing subsidiary, Hepatic Cell Therapy Support SA, including its 32,400-square-foot (3,010-square-meter) facility in Gosselies, Belgium.

Price Performance

Shares of the company have gained 33.1% in the past year compared with the S&P 500's 37.8% rise. The industry lost 10.2% in the said time frame.

Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Currently, Catalent carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

A few other top-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Veeva Systems Inc. VEEV, AMN Healthcare Services Inc AMN and Align Technology, Inc. ALGN.

Veeva Systems’ long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 15.8%. The company presently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

AMN Healthcare’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 6.5%. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.

Align Technology’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 23.2%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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