Cornerstone Therapeutics, a Cary drug marketer, announced late Monday that it has acquired speciality pharmaceutical company EKR Therapeutics for $150 million.
Privately-held EKR, which makes products for providing acute-care in hospitals, had revenue of $58 million last year. Most of that revenue was generated from CARDENE IV, EKR's treatment for hypertension.
Cornerstone is paying $125 million in cash and $25 million in milestone payments over the next three years to acquire EKR.
Cornerstone recently completed its shift from selling drugs to doctors to focusing on the more profitable niche hospital market. In March, the company divested itself of two antibiotics, Factive and Spectracef, that were sold to doctors' offices.
In a statement, Cornerstone CEO Craig Collard said the EKR acquisition is a major step forward in its strategy of targeting the hospital market.
“We plan to pursue additional hospital product licensing opportunities and company acquisitions that complement our enhanced hospital presence," he said. "We believe this strategy will position Cornerstone for growth and bring the Company to the next level of value creation.”
Cornerstone reported Tuesday morning that its net revenues declined 26 percent in the first quarter.
The company had net revenue of $22.2 million, compared to $30 million in the first quarter of 2011.
Net loss for the quarter was $1.8 million, or 7 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $1.7 million, or 7 cents per share the comapny reported a year ago. Cornerstone had $74.2 million in cash as of the end of March.
The company has two products in the market, including its top seller Curosurf, which treats respiratory distress in infants. Sales of those products increased 35 percent in the quarter compared to the same period in 2011, the company reported Tuesday.