Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
Lincoln pharmacy veteran swings for the fences with new venture
0 Comments
editor's pick topical alert

Lincoln pharmacy veteran swings for the fences with new venture

  • Updated
  • 0
Staska Pharmaceuticals, 7.19

Staska Pharmaceuticals technicians Rebecca Sheldon (left) and Luke Langenberg work in the non-sterile compounding room on Monday.

BENNET -- Just over the Otoe County line about 10 miles east of Lincoln is a modern, high-tech building that looks a bit out of place.

It's at the end of a gravel road shared by a machine shed and a contractor business and surrounded by farmland. It's got very little signage and a secured entrance.

The low-profile location suits Lyn Leitner just fine.

The former owner of National Pharmacy at 33rd and A streets opened Staska Pharmaceuticals in January.

The company is a type of compounding pharmacy but works on a much larger scale.

Staska Pharmaceuticals, 7.19

Among the facilities at Staska Pharmaceuticals are a microbiology lab.

Unlike pure compounding pharmacies, which produce limited quantities of specialty medicines prescribed for individuals, Staska makes large batches of custom drug compounds for medical facilities such as hospitals and surgery centers.

"It's basically direct to provider rather than direct to patient," Leitner said.

Staska is the first 503B outsourcing facility in Nebraska, and one of about 70 nationwide, Leitner said. The big difference, other than size, is that compounding pharmacies are generally regulated by state pharmacy boards, while 503B operations are directly regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Staska Pharmaceuticals, 7.19

Technicians with Staska Pharmaceuticals Rebecca Sheldon (from left), Luke Langenberg and Kyle Haverkamp work at the non-sterile compounding room, Monday. 

That makes it more akin to a drug manufacturer than a pharmacy. In fact, though Leitner is a licensed pharmacist, the company does not fill prescriptions.

Staska focuses mostly on providing drugs used in injections, although it also produces some topical medications, Leitner said.

There are a couple of big advantages to using a company like Staska, he said. One is that, "we can make things that aren't necessarily commercially available."

An example of that, Leitner said, is a different concentration of a drug that a doctor might use for an off-label purpose.

Another benefit is that the company can make drugs that are in short supply. A perfect example of that is dexamethasone, an older steroid drug that experienced renewed demand after it was determined to help COVID-19 patients.

Staska Pharmaceuticals, 7.19

Lyn Leitner, founder and CEO of Staska Pharmaceuticals, shows off its compounding area.

An area of growth for the company and one Leitner plans to put more focus on in the future is vitamin injections. Though not common in Nebraska, Leitner said they are something that's becoming more popular elsewhere at IV infusion centers, medical spas and other facilities.

"Vitamin infusions are going to be big for us," he said.

According to a recent study, the market for 503B outsourcing facilities has huge growth potential. The study, by Coherent Market Insights, estimated the U.S. market will grow from a little over $900 million this year to more than $1.5 billion by 2028.

Growth is something that Leitner said he planned for. Right now, Staska operates out of a 7,200-square-foot building, about 3,200 square feet of which is dedicated to clean room space where products are made in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. The building sits on nearly 4 acres, giving ample room for expansion.

Staska Pharmaceuticals, 7.19

Staska Pharmaceuticals sits just over the Otoe County line about 10 miles east of Lincoln.

He said the site, which he settled on after being unable to find a suitable location in Lancaster County, should accommodate the company's needs for at least five years.

Staska may eventually outgrow the site and have to build a larger facility elsewhere, Leitner said, but for now it's perfect.

The company has 10 employees, including Jeanne Greisen, another Lincoln pharmacist who is its director of product development, and Bala Kondepu, a drug industry veteran who is director of quality.

Right now, Leitner said all of his customers are in Nebraska, but the company also is licensed in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa and Missouri and has had inquiries from potential customers in some of those states.

He called Staska a "swing-for-the-fences business," and he's hoping to eventually hit a home run with it.

Kawasaki to expand in Lincoln, add hundreds of jobs
National Pharmacy, one of last independents in Lincoln, closes
Nebraska tax incentive agreements fall in 2020

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

0 Comments
0
0
0
0
0

The business news you need

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Business reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

News Alerts

Breaking News

Husker News