Specialty Pharma mixes new home infusion brew

Sunday, November 30, 2003

WALLINGFORD, Conn. - Specialty Pharma, a new company ready to make a splash in the world of home infusion, has been busy mixing what its founders call “the formula of the future.”

Specialty Pharma, which was founded in October 2002 by rehab industry veterans Joseph Fleming and David Pilner, hopes to be a regional leader in infused and self-injected biotechnology therapies, which treat rheumatoid arthritis, Crone’s disease and various immune deficiencies.

“We think [biotechnology] is an emerging market and that there will be a lot of opportunity, a lot of new drugs,” said Fleming. “The pipeline is enormous.”

Specialty Pharma began growing this fall with the acquisition of Professional Home Care Services, a home infusion and respiratory business. Professional Home Care Services was selected as the platform acquisition because of its dominant market position in Connecticut.

According to its founders, Specialty Pharma’s nursing staff and in-house pharmacists will set it apart from other biotechnology companies, which tend to be mail order, disease-management houses with no nursing staff.

Specialty Pharma plans to continue its growth through either start-ups or selected acquisitions.

“We are not dependent on our next acquisition,” said Fleming. “We have a wonderful base company here that will grow dramatically, but we are keeping our eyes open for acquisitions.”

Currently, Specialty Pharma’s executives are meeting with payors in the region and are talking with several drug manufacturers about restricted distribution rights for certain biotech products.

Prior to their current venture, Pilner and Fleming founded and ran Community Rehab Centers, which had 100-plus locations in the Northeast. The company was sold to Kessler Rehab in 2001. Professional Home Care President Lou Calamari also has joined the company as a partner.