Lexington, MA
4 Class I recalls

Before its acquisition by Merck ($MRK), Cubist Pharmaceuticals ran into a handful of manufacturing issues that landed it tied in the fourth spot of pharma recallers.

The company's four recalls--all of the flagship antibiotic Cubicin--between 2013 and 2014 were prompted after the discovery of particulate in the vials; three of them were issued last year. Through the episode, Cubist blamed its CMO, though it wasn't clear if it was the same company responsible for all of the episodes. Despite the issues, the lasting impact from the recalls was an uptick in the cost of goods sold, Cubist CFO Michael Tomsicek told investors last August.

In total, more than 100 lots of the blockbuster were affected, though the issues didn't stop multinational pharma Merck from placing a banner sticker price on Cubist and picking it up in a $9.5 billion purchase late last year.

Since then, Merck has axed 120 Cubist research positions as it integrates operations and downsizes the operations at Cubist's Lexington, MA, headquarters.

Cubicin was the primary acquisition of the purchase, as the drug pulls in $1 billion per year, though Merck also picked up Zerbaxa to fight complicated urinary tract infection and intra-abdominal infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria and superbug treatment Sivextro.

-- Eric Sagonowsky (email | Twitter)

For more:
Cubist issues third recall in 12 months after another CMO quality failing
Cubist recalls four lots of flagship antibiotic
Cubist again recalls some Cubicin tied to contractor problem