Looking into 2020, VanTrieste said suppliers have been continuing to come forward and express interest in working with Civica. "This will only accelerate that process showing that we can be successful to do that," he said.
He said the company is working on all three parts of its manufacturing strategy. Its research and development team continues to file its own data sets with the FDA for future ANDAs, and the company is also working on negotiations with contract research manufacturers and contract development organizations. Planned announcements are coming in the near future, VanTrieste said.
The company is also in active discussions to build a new manufacturing plant. The final decision on where the manufacturing facility will be located has not yet been made, but will center around the availability of talent, accessibility to distribution networks and access to airports and other resources. The company is looking at some partnership options where other companies are willing to let Civica use their land to build a manufacturing facility.
In April, the company moved into a new headquarters in Lehi, Utah. The company has 16 employees and plans to add individuals as needed, VanTrieste said.
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He said he expects to continue seeing steady growth in the number of member hospitals that are part of Civica, because he continues to field several inquiries a day and is currently in the process of getting contracts signed with several health systems.
"It continues to build credibility for the company with, not just the suppliers but with our members. When we make this kind of announcement saying—we're going to do 14 more, here's where we are—we get more interest from potential members," VanTrieste said. He generally tells member hospitals that pay for access to Civica's bundle of drugs to expect to save between 35% and 50% of those drug costs. Those who pay for access to individual drugs may see a 100% decrease or no drop in price at all depending on the drug.
VanTrieste said member hospitals have indicated seeing a difference throughout the generics market since the emergence of Civica.
"They tell us that there are clearly players in the marketplace who are nervous about what we're doing and they're talking differently than they did before," VanTrieste said. "They view us as competition and they try to take competitive responses, making promises on availability and promises on price."
But to really have a concrete impact on the marketplace, VanTrieste said the company estimates it would need to produce between 50 and 100 drugs, work that would likely take about five years, he said. There are 287 drugs on the drug shortage list this week, VanTrieste said. "This is not a short-term endeavor," he said. "Developing drugs is not easy."