Specialty drugmaker Cumberland Pharmaceuticals will soon be adding a new antibiotic to its portfolio thanks to a $25 million deal it made with Theravance Biopharma. Cumberland has acquired Theravance’s Vibativ (telavancin), an FDA-approved antibiotic drug hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated bacterial pneumonia caused by Gram-positive pathogens.
“This transaction with Cumberland Pharmaceuticals allows Theravance Biopharma to sharpen our focus on our most important strategic priorities, including preparations for the potential launch of Yupelri (revefenacin) in COPD, if approved, plus executing on key pipeline programs,” said Rick E Winningham, chairman and chief executive officer at Theravance Biopharma. “Vibativ plays an important role in the growing global battle against antibiotic resistance.”
Under the terms of the deal, Cumberland will be responsible for manufacturing, distributing and marketing Vibativ in the US, and will also conduct any further regulatory activities required. In addition to its up-front payment of $20 million, Cumberland will pay another $5 million to Theravance early next year. However, the transaction doesn’t end there; Theravance will continue to collect royalties of up to 20 percent on future sales of Vibativ.
“We believe that Cumberland’s track record of successfully marketing and selling hospital-based products combined with Vibativ’s existing base of hospital formulary inclusions positions them to drive commercial success for Vibativ as a flagship product and ensures the important therapeutic benefits of Vibativ reach as many patients as possible,” said Winningham.
The true value of Vibativ lies in its ability to fight difficult-to-treat and multidrug-resistant infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). In 2011, over 80,000 patients were diagnosed with invasive MRSA infections which resulted in over 11,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Vibativ is a lifesaving treatment for certain difficult to treat infections, and we are honored to be selected to acquire and transition the brand to our existing hospital acute care infrastructure,” said A.J. Kazimi, chief executive officer of Cumberland Pharmaceuticals. “Our immediate plan for Vibativ is to ensure a smooth transition of the product supply and medical support to current users of the brand. We will then launch our hospital promotion and medical initiatives to help ensure that the product is available to the patients who need it.”
Vibativ was originally approved by the FDA in 2013. The pharmaceutical companies expect that the deal will close by the middle of November.