US-based pharmaceutical company Catalent has added a high-speed blister packaging line to its clinical supply facility in Shiga, Japan, to expand the plant’s primary packaging capabilities.

The line is similar to those installed at other Catalent clinical supply facilities and will complement the Shiga plant’s existing automated bottling line.

Catalent said that the blister packaging equipment will offer maximum access and flexibility to its customers.

The company opened its Shiga site in October last year to support customers in Japan and other international markets.

The 6,000m² facility provides a range of flexible clinical supply solutions, including Catalent’s FastChain demand-led supply, white-glove handling and logistics.

In addition, employees at the plant offer several project and clinical supply management services, such as packaging and labelling, storage and distribution, controlled drug and cold-chain storage and handling.

Catalent Asia-Pacific clinical supply services vice-president and general manager Roel de Nobel said: “The demand for primary packaging in Japan is very high, and customers are increasingly looking for integrated providers of clinical supply expertise and services.

“Shiga is a key hub within our Asia-Pacific clinical supply services network, and with these new capabilities, which are now fully operational, we will offer a comprehensive range of services, which are customisable to customers’ specific needs.”

Catalent’s clinical supply services manage a wide range of compliance and distribution requirements to support clinical trials.

The company’s network is spread across the US, UK, Germany, Singapore, Japan and China and has more than 50 additional global depots.

Catalent claims it helps expedite more than 1,000 partner programmes and launch more than 150 products each year.

Earlier this year, the company started an expansion project to increase the cold chain packaging capabilities of its facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

As part of the project, Catalent will extend the plant’s packaging area by around 20,000ft² and install seven temperature-controlled processing suites.