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Cary's Cornerstone Therapeutics acquires a Philadelphia pharma

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Cornerstone Therapeutics, a specialty pharma in Cary, has acquired a small Philadelphia pharma that recently filed a new drug application with the FDA.

Cornerstone will acquire all outstanding shares of Cardiokine but financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Under CEO Craig Collard, Cornerstone has focused on acquiring and developing drugs used by hospitals.

Cardiokine, which develops cardiovascular products for hospitals, fits in with that strategy. The company just completed the last phase of clinical trials for a drug that treats hyponatremia, a metabolic condition that occurs when there is not enough sodium in the blood. It is often diagnosed with hospitalized patients who have experienced heart failure.

In a statement announcing the deal, Collard said the hyponatremia market is expected to grow significantly and currently has limited treatments.

There are about 5 million heart failure patients in the United States and each year one-fourth develop hyponatremia, leading to medical costs of $1.6 billion to $3.6 billion annually, according to Cornerstone.

Collard said the Cardiokine acquisition is "the first of several deals we hope to accomplish as we continue to execute the strategic plan that we initiated in 2011."

Cardiokine filed the new drug application on Dec. 29 and expects FDA approval in the first quarter of 2013.

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About the blogger

Mary Cornatzer has worked at The News & Observer for more than 25 years, covering the local music industry, state movie industry and travel. She has been the paper's Business editor since 2000. Contact Mary at 919-829-4755 or e-mail her.