Smith Medical Partners wins exclusive distribution deal with Cardium Therapeutics

H. D. Smith specialty subsidiary targets emerging biotechs; Cardium goes with Web-only sales outreach initially

H. D. Smith (Springfiled, IL), the largest privately held wholesaler-distributor in the US, has announced the deal with Cardium that it expects to be a model for future business for its recently formed specialty subsidiary, Smith Medical Partners (SMP). SMP will provide exclusive distribution and cold-chain logistics services for Excellagen (formulated bovine collagen), a wound care product approved for the management of diabetic foot ulcers and other dermal wounds. Cardium (San Diego) won approval from FDA late last year for the product, as a 510(k) medical device.

“We’re a full-service specialty distributor, licensed in all 50 states,” says Tom Doyle, VP of specialty services at SMP. “Our sweet spot, if you will, is emerging biotechs that need a flexible business model to achieve commercialization.” One example of this flexibility, he says, is a willingness to work with biotechs on their logistics issues even in clinical trials. So-called “hub” services, involving reimbursement, patient assistance and followup care, can also be contracted for. And while such hub and logistics services are often used for specialty products with limited markets, the Excellagen commercialization ultimately could reach a quite large market—Cardium says that foot ulcers affect upwards of 15% of diabetes patients, according to CDC data (putting the patient population in the low millions). Excellagen will have next-day delivery to physician offices nationwide through the distribution deal, says the company, which hopes to sell the product initially without an internal sales force.

Doyle adds that SMP has a dedicated facility in Wood Dale, but can also tap into resources and services available through its parent, which has eight distribution centers spread across the country.