Chapel Hill drug firm Cempra puts itself up for sale
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Chapel Hill, N.C. — Clinical stag drug maker Cempra Inc. put itself up for sale on Monday, two weeks after it laid off two-third of its workers after Phase III results for one of its drugs came back disappointing.
The Chapel Hill-based company said it has hired Morgan Stanley & Co. as financial advisor and to lead a review of “strategic business options.”
No timetable has been set for the process.
In a statement, the company said, “The goal of this process is for Cempra to determine the best use of its significant cash resources and clinical programs to deliver value to patients and shareholders through internal and/or potential external opportunities.”
Cempra had $231.6 million in cash as of Dec. 31, 2016.
Cempra, which has no drugs on the market, announced a setback in late February when it said that its solithromycin drug rejected by the Food and Drug Administration in December came up short in a study to treat gonorrhea.
The company also announced in late February that it was cutting 91 employees, trimming its workforce from 136 to 45 employees. Cempra attributed the cuts to the failure of its pneumonia treatment to reach FDA approval in December.
For the quarter ended Dec. 31, Cempra reported a net loss of $31.4 million, or 60 cents per share, worse than the net loss of $21.2 million, or 48 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2015. The results missed the net loss of 57 cents per share that analysts were expecting.
Cempra’s shares rose 23 cents, or 6.25 percent, to $3.83 in late Monday trading.
Note: This story is from the North Carolina Business News Wire, a service of UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Media and Journalism
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