Published: Mar 13, 2012 06:00 PM
Modified: Mar 13, 2012 11:20 AM
Cornerstone Therapeutics, a Cary drug marketer, has completed its transition from selling drugs to doctors to focusing on the more profitable niche hospital market.
The 116-employee company shifted away from selling drugs to physicians’ offices because selling specialty drugs to hospitals is cheaper; it requires a smaller sales force.
Cornerstone, which employed 147 people just one year ago, has been selling off assets and acquiring products that fit its new hospital-centered strategy, which was launched last June. The company this month divested itself of two antibiotics, Factive and Spectracef, that were sold to doctors’ offices.
“In 2011, we continued to execute upon our strategic plan by focusing on our strategic products within the hospital, niche respiratory and related specialty markets,” Cornerstone CEO Craig Collard said in a press release.
Still, the company reported declining sales and profits for the fourth quarter. Revenue fell to $18.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 from $32.5 million the same three-month period a year earlier.
Cornerstone’s net loss in the fourth quarter increased to $2.7 million last year from $800,000 in 2010.
However, last year the company’s available cash increased by $23.1 million to $74 million.
Cornerstone buys marketing and licensing rights for drugs created by other developers. Drugs developed by Cornerstone are made by third-party manufacturers so Cornerstone can focus on sales and distribution.
Cornerstone has two products in the market, including its top seller Curosurf, which treats respiratory distress in infants. The company also has two drugs in development, both pending before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. One is a generic cough syrup and the other a generic treatment for sodium imbalance.
Cornerstone was created in 2008 when Cary’s Cornerstone BioPharma acquired a Boston biotechnology company, Critical Therapeutics.
The company’s shares closed up 5 cents at $4.95 per share.