Craig Collard, chairman and CEO of Cornerstone Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CRTX), has aggressive growth plans for the Cary-based company.

While staying mum about a proposed buyout by Chiesi Farmaceutici that was made in February, Collard did talk about Cornerstone’s growth plans.

In a conference call with analysts on Thursday to discussed quartertly earnings and the acquisition of a drug that treats a consequence of cystic fibrosis called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, Collard said Cornerstone plans to hire 10 to 15 additional sales people.

The company is targeting the cystic fibrosis market with the newly acquired Pertzye along with another product called Bethkis.

“By itself, Pertzye is a strong product. However, what we are really excited about is the synergy and interest that this product combined with Bethkis will bring into the market,” Collard said, according to a transcript of the call from SeekingAlpha. “In general, patients with CF experience a significant treatment burden, and we are pleased to bring two options, which we believe represent rare steps in the right direction for improving small but meaningful aspects of their lives.

“As of now, we are one of the only companies that will be providing treatments for the lung and digestive issues associated with CF, which are the two major issues that most CF patients deal with on a daily basis. With the acquisition of Pertzye and the upcoming launch of Bethkis, we are building a strong portfolio in the CF space, and we’ll have two new products on the market by Q3 2013.

“It’s important to note that both therapies will be promoted by our specialized hospital sales force, which we plan to expand by 10 to 15 reps.

“This is yet another strategic step in our commitment to building a portfolio of industry-leading brands for the growing U.S. hospital market. We also believe this further illustrates our commitment to the CF community in helping to ease the treatment burden for those living with this disease.”

Cornerstone acquired U.S. rights to Pertzye from Digestive Care, Inc. The deal was announced Thursday. Details can be read online.

The company reported a 71 percent increase in net revenue for the first quarter with overall sales increasing to $38 million from $22.2 million a year ago. Cornerstone’s earnings results also are available online.