) recently inked a deal with medical devices company Q Core
Medical, Ltd. pertaining to the latter's Q Core Sapphire
multi-therapy infusion system. The system is a compact and
lightweight infusion device mechanism, which finds frequent usage
in ambulatory and hospital settings.
The system boasts of a full-color touch-screen and software for
intuitive programming and operation involving minimal steps. The
product is already available in Canada and Europe. It is under
regulatory review for registrations in many other nations,
including the US.
The deal provides Hospira with exclusive rights to market and
distribute the system in more than 60 important markets
encompassing Europe, Asia and the Americas. Following the deal,
Hospira can collaborate with the medical devices company for
distribution of its pipeline candidates. The addition of the
device to its product portfolio further strengthens Hospira's
already formidable medication management systems (MMS) segment.
Symbiq general infusion pumps already belong to the MMS segment.
We note that Hospira is going through a rough patch due to the
ongoing manufacturing challenges at its Rocky Mountain facility
as well as issues with the Symbiq/Plum pumps. The ongoing
manufacturing issues at its Rocky Mountain facility have hurt the
company's earnings over the last few quarters. The issue, until
resolved, will remain a major overhang on the stock.
Moreover, the warning letter received by the company from the US
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Aug 2012 regarding an
inspection of the company's La Aurora de Heredia, Costa Rica
device manufacturing facility, is another matter of concern. The
facility at Costa Rica makes most of Hospira's infusion devices
and sets (Symbiq, Plum etc.).
Moreover, the FDA's directive, issued in Nov 2012, prohibiting
the company from importing its Symbiq medication infusion pumps,
manufactured in Costa Rica, into the US is another challenge for
the company. Manufacturing issues at the company's other
facilities, such as at Lake Forest, McPherson, Austin and IKKT
are further challenges for Hospira.
Hospira carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) in the short run.
Favorably placed stocks in medical sector include
Edwards Lifesciences Corporation
). All three stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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