Contract drug manufacturer Catalent Inc. agreed to buy closely held Paragon Bioservices Inc. for $1.2 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, the latest deal in the emerging market for gene-therapy drugs.
The all-cash deal, which is expected to be announced Monday morning, would help Catalent CTLT, -0.56% expand its gene-therapy manufacturing capabilities, the people said. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.
Gene therapies aim to replace defective genes with healthy ones. The first was approved in the U.S. in 2017, and dozens more are in development. Researchers say they will become an important option for treating inherited diseases.
Paragon provides similar supplies for gene-therapy drugmakers, manufacturing the so-called viral vectors that are used to deliver the gene replacements to their targets. Last week the Baltimore-based company unveiled a 200,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in suburban Maryland.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
Also popular on WSJ.com:
Washington waits in suspense for Mueller report.
Baby boomers and the art of parenting adult kids.