Cornerstone Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CRTX) has sold rights to two anti-infective products in deals that complete the specialty pharmaceutical company’s shift away from marketing primary care drugs.

Cornerstone will now focus on marketing hospital-based drugs.

Cornerstone, which is based in Cary, receives an an undisclosed amount of cash for divesting product rights and inventory for the antibiotic treatments Factive and Spectracef to Merus Labs International (Nasdaq: MSLI) and Vansen Pharma. Toronto, Canada-based Merus receives North American rights to Factive, a drug that generated $6.3 million in 2011 U.S. sales. Factive is not yet available in Canada. Merus has entered a sales and promotion agreement with Vansen to market Factive in the United States and it will become Merus’ first U.S. product.

The deals also include Cornerstone’s oral antibiotic Spectracef, but no details on that transaction were disclosed. The Spectracef family of products generated $8 million in 2011 sales.

For Cornerstone, the deals are consistent with a strategic shift that now focuses on marketing drugs sold in hospitals. Unlike primary care drugs, products used in hospitals are less susceptible to generic competition. They are also more lucrative. Cornerstone’s top-selling product Curosurf, sold in hospitals to treat respiratory distress in infants, generated $34.8 million in 2011 sales, up 4 percent compared to 2010. Cornerstone acquired Curosurf product rights in 2009.

Cornerstone brought into its portfolio another hospital-based drug last year with its acquisition of Philadelphia drug developer Cardiokine Biopharma at the beginning of the year. Cardiokine submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a new drug application for lead drug candidate lixivaptan just prior to the acquisition of the company by Cornerstone. Lixivaptan was developed to treat hyponatremia, a condition in which the sodium levels of the blood are abnormally low. The condition is commonly diagnosed in patients with heart failure. If lixivaptan receives FDA approval, Cornerstone would be able to pitch another hospital-based product using the same sales force that already sells Curosurf to hospitals.

“We began a migration out of the primary care market segment in 2011 and with today’s transactions, we have completed this process,” Cornerstone CEO Craid Collard said in a statement. “Going forward with our existing product portfolio, FDA product filings and development projects, we are well positioned to grow our company within the hospital and related specialty markets.”

Get the latest news alerts: Follow WRAL Tech Wire at Twitter.