Catalent sees weight-loss drugs boom driving bookings until FY 2026

(Reuters) -Catalent said on Wednesday it expected a majority of its current and upcoming production capacity for pre-filled syringes until fiscal year 2026 to soon be booked out, driven by booming demand for newer weight-loss drugs.

The contract drug manufacturer plays a vital role in the production of Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy by filling self-injection pens for the weight-loss drug that is witnessing a boom in demand.Shares of the company rose 4.5% in early trade as it beat Wall Street’s estimates for first-quarter revenue. It also posted a smaller-than-expected adjusted net loss, showing early signs of improvement across its struggling businesses.

Catalent began a strategic review in August, adding new members to its board after a settlement with activist investor Elliott Investment Management.

The Somerset, New Jersey-based company, which manufactures drugs, vaccines and gene therapies, has struggled with production challenges and regulatory inspections at three of its key facilities.

The company’s biologics segment, which provides clients with development and manufacturing services for gene therapies and pre-filled syringes and vials, recorded revenue of $447 million, beating analysts’ average estimate of $417 million, according to LSEG data.

Its pharmaceutical and consumer health segment posted sales of $535 million, also beating the estimate of $515 million.

Catalent had said on Monday it would delay its first-quarter filing with the U.S. securities regulator due to a goodwill impairment charge of about $700 million related to acquisitions in its consumer health and biomodalities unit, but would file preliminary results on Wednesday.

The company recorded a quarterly net loss of $715 million, which includes the charge.

On an adjusted basis, Catalent recorded a net loss of 10 cents per share, smaller than the estimated 14-cents-per-share loss.

Preliminary revenue for the first quarter fell 4%, to $982 million, but also beat analysts’ average estimate of $939.14 million.

(Reporting by Sriparna Roy and Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)