The deal was announced at the end of December. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
CATC is a research, development and contract service organization focused on work with biotechnologies intended to improve the productivity, sustainability and efficiency in aquaculture. It has facilities in California and on Prince Edward Island in Canada.
Acquiring the research facility supports the CATC s ongoing expansion plans, said Debbie Plouffe, executive vice president of research at that institution.
“As we’re working on our expansion plans, it’s a good fit geographically and it was built for a similar purpose to the facility that we use already on Prince Edward Island – to conduct of fish health research,” she told FeedNavigator.
The location allows for a “good global reach” with access to markets in Europe and South America and the site has some accreditations and certifications that are of interest to the center, she added.
The sale was part of Indiana-based Elanco’s ongoing focus to become a stand-alone animal health company. In selling the facility, Elanco was “pleased” to find a way for the site to remain in operation and continue to be involved with aquaculture research, said Aaron Schacht, executive vice president of innovation, regulatory and business development at Elanco.
Aquaculture, feed research
Currently, CATC is working on a plan to staff the new facility, said Plouffe.
“We intend to use it as an extension of our existing business,” she said. “With tank-based research, there’s always need for more space. The more flexibility that we have in tank sizes and space and water qualities that we can have available the broader our reach can become."
CATC's research has focused on exploring fish nutrition, fish health products, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, feed ingredients, raw materials and functional feeds, Plouffe said.
“There’s some overlap there between feed ingredients and health products – that line is becoming blurrier,” she added.
The company assesses the safety and efficacy of products for a range of aquaculture species – including salmonids, shrimp, tilapia and other warm-water species – at a variety of life stages, she said.
Elanco’s future aquaculture focus
Elanco gained the research facility in 2015 as part of the company’s acquisition of Novartis. It announced it was interested in selling the facility in September.
However, the sale is not intended to end Elanco’s work in aquaculture, it said R&D efforts focused on that sector will be conducted at the company’s other research sites.
Elanco retains its manufacturing facility based in Charlottetown on Prince Edward Island. That location has seen an expanding workforce and influx of capital investments during the past two years.