Last week, Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc. (CRTX) announced the receipt of approval from the United States Bankruptcy Court for Massachusetts district regarding the acquisition of Factive’s (gemifloxacin mesylate) commercial rights  in North America and some European countries from Oscient Pharmaceuticals Corp., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July.

The transaction is worth $5 million in cash. Additionally, it includes an amount for purchased inventory, quarterly royalty payments based on adjusted net sales for a period of five years, and the assumption of certain liabilities.

Factive, which belongs to the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics, is indicated for the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) of mild to moderate severity and acute bacterial exacerbations of chronic bronchitis (ABECB).  It was launched in the U.S. in September 2004 and is the only fluoroquinolone approved in the U.S. for the five-day treatment of both ABECB and CAP.

Factive has generated approximately 1.1 million prescriptions since its launch. It garnered approximately $16 million net revenues in 2008.

As a reminder, Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc was established through the merger of Critical Therapeutics with Cornerstone Biopharma Holdings Inc in the fourth quarter of 2008. The company has a wide range of products in its portfolio including AlleRx for allergic rhinitis; Balacet 325 for pain; Spectracef, an oral antibiotic for infections; and Zyflo/Zyflo CR for asthma. The company has a deep late-stage clinical pipeline with quite a few regulatory approval submissions expected between 2009 and 2011.

Cornerstone’s $70 million deal with Chiesi Farmaceutici, an Italian pharmaceutical firm, further broadens its product portfolio. The deal includes U.S. rights to the Chiesi drug Curosurf, which is used to treat respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in premature babies.

The inclusion of Factive is an impressive addition to the already accomplished portfolio, and strengthens its presence in the respiratory market.
Cornerstone operates in a highly competitive respiratory market. Its products compete with both big players and generic counterparts. However, we believe the company’s strategy is to carve a niche in this market. Cornerstone’s top competitors include big players like AstraZeneca (AZN), GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) and Merck (MRK).
Read the full analyst report on “CRTX”
Read the full analyst report on “MRK”
Read the full analyst report on “GSK”
Read the full analyst report on “AZN”
Zacks Investment Research