Civica Rx inks deal to sell antibiotics

Civica Rx, a not-for-profit drug company startup that aims to provide more affordable drugs, inked a new deal to distribute antibiotics with Xellia Pharmaceuticals, a specialty pharmaceutical company based in Copenhagen that develops, manufactures and commercializes anti-infective treatments.

The two signed a product supply agreement with Xellia manufacturing essential antibiotics for the member health system within Civica. Manufacturing these drugs, including Vanocomycin and Daptomycin, will help address shortages of anti-infective medications in hospitals nationwide. Xellia will make the medications for the not-for-profit under its Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) and Civica labeling and New Drug Code (NDC), according to a press release.

Drug shortages in U.S. hospitals are a rising problem that, coupled with rising drug prices, have impacted patient care and outcomes, according to a 2019 report from a group of hospital associations. Almost 80% of hospitals in the report found it challenging to obtain drugs that have a shortage, and nearly 80% said drug shortages have led to increased spending on drugs overall.

The move is the first drug launch that Civica will distribute. The company announced it would likely distribute 20 drugs in 2019 earlier this year, though its committed goal is to distribute 14 essential generic medications. The startup was launched in 2018 by health systems and foundations to address drug shortages and rising costs. Several members include large health systems, including Intermountain Healthcare, Mayo Clinic and Trinity Health. It has raised more than $160 million from members.

“We thank Xellia for helping to lead the way in efforts to reduce chronic generic drug shortages in the U.S., including treatments for serious infections caused by bacteria that are resistant to other antibiotics,” Martin VanTrieste, president and CEO of Civica, said in a statement. “By helping to stabilize the supply of Vancomycin and Daptomycin, we will have a direct impact on patient safety and public health by providing consistent access to antibiotics that are important treatment options in the management of difficult-to-treat and life-threatening infections.”

Xellia will expand its manufacturing in the U.S. to meet the demand.

“We are honored to work with Civica, an innovator in addressing generic drug shortages,” Carl-Aake Carlsson, CEO Xellia Pharmaceuticals, said in a statement. “Our collaboration also supports Xellia’s long-term ambition of mitigating anti-infective drug shortages across the U.S."