Beyond the Pitch
STAQ Pharma Packages Compounded Medications to Meet Hospital Dosing Needs
As every successful entrepreneur and investor knows, the road to success for a startup begins with an unmet need in a major segment of a growing market.
For STAQ Pharma, the market is healthcare. The segment is pediatric hospitals, and the unmet need is providing compounded medications packaged in approved doses, especially child-sized doses for children, safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively.
STAQ Pharma is a pharmaceutical repackaging company for compounded medications. The firm has an 18,400 square-foot outsourcing facility with FDA approval to provide pre-filled adult and pediatric doses of medications.
“We identified the need,” said Mark Spiecker, president of STAQ Pharma, “worked with leading children’s hospitals to refine that need, and then raised the money to build a business to meet that need.”
Repackaging Medications in Doses for Children and Adults Can Improve Safety
Pharmaceutical manufacturers package medications in large batches to lower manufacturing and distribution costs. Lower costs can contribute to lower prices for the entities that purchase the drugs—for example, hospitals, nursing homes, or major pharmacy chains.
However, often, the large batches of drugs are not delivered to hospitals and other institutions in doses that match patient needs. That means that in hospitals and nursing homes, nurses or compounding pharmacies must create appropriate doses. The responsibility for diluting vials and filling syringes likely defaults to nurses and pharmacists. The process presents challenges in safety, efficiency, substance control, and waste.
These challenges are especially acute in pediatric hospitals where most drugs arrive from manufacturers in doses not approved for children. From a pharmacy perspective, Spiecker says, 75 percent of drugs arrive in dosages not approved for kids.
“We have talked to hospitals of all sizes,” he said. “They told us that we should consider building an outsourcing facility to meet this need.”
STAQ’s founding team has decades of diverse experience in medical devices, pharmaceutical manufacturing and supply, hospital operations, and in working with the FDA. “We saw the opportunity to leverage our expertise,” said Spiecker.
STAQ: Safety | Transparency | Availability | Quality
Working with leading hospital groups in pediatric medicine, including Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital Colorado, STAQ Pharm has completed an 18,400 square foot outsourcing facility (with FDA-approval for 503B status) to provide pre-filled pediatric and adult concentrations.
STAQ has begun testing stability batches. “We broke ground last December, and our goal is to sell the product this December,” said Spiecker said. “We were at it a year and a half before that, but still, things have moved very fast.”
At full build-out, the facility will have industry-leading capacity to produce up to 30,000 syringes per day.
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