Cempra Pharmaceuticals, which is developing novel antibiotics targeting drug-resistant bacteria, has raised $5 million in financing, according to securities filings.
The Chapel Hill-based company has two clinical stage antibacterial compounds; one of which is being developed to fight nasty skin infections, including MRSA. That compound, called Taksta, is set to enter phase 3 clinical trials, which could require up to $60 million.
A Cempra spokesman said that the company cannot discuss the financing right now. But CEO Prabhavathi Fernandes has said the company is looking to partner with a large pharmaceutical company who could take Taksta through phase 3 clinical trials. Failing to find a partner, Cempra would need to raise more money from its investors. This latest fundraise could be bridge financing until the company determines which path to take.
According to the filing, the company started raising money on August 5 and has since reached its $5 million target. The financing is in the form of debt and other options. Cempra has raised more than $83 million from Sofinova Ventures, Quaker BioVentures, Intersouth Partners and Aisling Capital. Representatives from those venture capital firms are named in the filing.
Cempra’s research focuses on macrolides, a class of compounds that have already produced effective antibiotics. Although the company’s library of 500 macrolide compounds holds potential treatments for inflammatory diseases, endocrine diseases and gastric motility disorders, the company has focused on antibiotic compounds so far.
Aside from Taksta, Cempra’s only clinical stage compound is solithromycin. That compound is entering phase 2 clinical trials as a treatment for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia.
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