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Alessandro Maselli

President and CEO, Catalent

Maselli has been with Catalent for more than 12 years and has held key positions in global operations, corporate oversight, and strategy, as well as leading two manufacturing facilities in Italy and the UK. Prior to Catalent, Maselli held leadership roles at Alstom and SGS. From 1998 to 2006, he held roles of increasing responsibility from process engineer to operations director at robotics and automation company ABB Group. Maselli earned a master’s degree in electronic engineering from the University of Rome (La Sapienza).

We asked…

If you weren’t in the pharma industry, what would you be doing?

Well, I will share my dream as a kid back in Italy, when watching Adriano Panatta, Bjorn Borg, and John McEnroe on TV, I dreamt of becoming a professional tennis player. However, I soon realized that my path would have to be a more traditional one. Besides, I have worked almost half of my career in the automotive industry, and still admire the levels of operational excellence and quality by design that are consistently achieved in that sector. I would probably still be there under different circumstances

What was the most serendipitous moment in your career?

Because of the impact it had on future events, I would certainly mention the beginning of 2020. Catalent was already installing and qualifying several new vial filling lines and bioreactors for viral vector manufacturing, and several of our partners reached out for help in the effort of scaling up the largest manufacturing effort of vaccines in human history to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. It seemed that we had everything so desperately needed at that point in time, while, when we made decisions on those investments in 2017-2018, we did so based on our analysis of the pipeline and the needs of some of the new modalities. Those circumstances and the incredible dedication of our teams made Catalent the “go-to” partner to help produce COVID-19 vaccines and therapies, something we will always be proud of.

What one thing do you think could improve the pharma industry?

During the pandemic, manufacturers invested a lot of money in both capacity and capabilities. Everyone is going to have to contend with rising costs, and there is the ever-present pressure to generate returns, so the industry needs to focus on leveraging the assets built. I think that better utilization, and a renewed focus on lean manufacturing and operational excellence are essential guides on that journey.

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