After FDA ban, Hospira creeps back into the infusion game with Q Core deal

Hospira has signed a deal to distribute Q Core's Sapphire infusion pump--courtesy of Q Core

The FDA has banned Hospira ($HSP) from importing its Symbiq infusion pumps into the U.S., but the drug- and devicemaker isn't dwelling on the blow, instead signing a deal with Q Core Medical to distribute that company's Sapphire system.

Neither party disclosed the financial details of the agreement, but Hospira gets the rights to sell Q Core's multi-therapy infusion device in 60 markets around the world, and the deal allows the two to collaborate on pipeline devices, too.

Sapphire isn't a cure-all for Hospira's Symbiq woes--Q Core's device isn't cleared for sale in the U.S., for instance--but the pump is designed to deliver a wide range of drugs in ambulatory and hospital care environments, Hospira said, and the company is pursuing an FDA sign-off.

"Collaborating with Q Core reinforces Hospira's commitment to providing advanced infusion systems that help improve the safety and efficiency of I.V. medication administration," Hospira Vice President Julie Sawyer Montgomery said in a statement. "With clinicians in multiple regions using the Sapphire system to support their medication administration needs, the device expands Hospira's ability to help support patient safety in key geographies."

In the meantime, Hospira is still working to get back in the FDA's good graces over Symbiq and the Costa Rican plant at which it's manufactured. The agency levied its ban back in November, and that came after an October Class I recall of some of the devices and an August warning letter over quality issues at the manufacturing plant.

- here's the announcement

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