PORTLAND, Maine — Putney Inc., a pharmaceutical company in Portland developing generic prescription medications for pets, has received federal approval to add another drug to its portfolio.
Jean Hoffman, the company’s CEO, said, “It’s only the beginning.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the company’s generic Cefpodoxime Proxetil tablet, which is used to treat certain skin infections in dogs and is a generic version of the brand-name drug Simplicef. There’s a $25 million market for the drug, and Putney’s will be the first generic version of Simplicef approved for pets, costing 25 percent less than the branded medication, according to the company.
It is the third prescription drug the company has received FDA approval to sell.
Hoffman, a veteran of the human pharmaceutical industry, founded Putney in 2006 to take advantage of a segment of the business she had noticed wasn’t being served adequately: generic, more inexpensive drugs for pets.
While generic drugs now account for more than 80 percent of human prescriptions filled in the United States, resulting in a savings of $3 billion every week for American consumers, only 7 percent of drugs for pets have generic equivalents, the company said in a release.
“Pet owners are looking for more affordable, equivalent medications to treat their pet family members, just like the FDA-approved generic drugs that they are comfortable using when doctors prescribe medication for their human family,” Hoffman said in a statement Monday.
The Bangor Daily News named Hoffman one of the newsmakers to watch in 2013.
Putney, which currently has revenue of roughly $20 million, received $21 million in venture capital in late 2011, and has expanded its staff in the past year from 12 to 35 employees, Hoffman recently told the BDN. She expects to hire another 20 people in 2013, all in anticipation of shepherding more drugs through the development and FDA-approval process.
Putney currently has more than 20 products in various phases of development and FDA review, according to the company.
“We believe we have the deepest pipeline in veterinary medicine, aimed at providing veterinarians and pet owners with FDA-approved generics of pet medicines where price is a barrier to prescribing and using the right drug for each pet’s medical need. The approval of Putney’s bio-equivalent Cefpodoxime Proxetil is just the beginning,” Hoffman said in the statement.
Hoffman estimates Putney could increase its revenue to $100 million in the next few years as the FDA approves more of its generic pet drugs.