Antibiotics developer Cempra braves tough market with $86M IPO

Chapel Hill, NC-based Cempra Pharmaceuticals is joining a lineup of biotech companies planning to brave chilly market waters in search of an IPO haul. The biotech has raised a little more than $78 million in venture funds and has a pair of antibiotics in the clinic. Now it hopes to raise up to $86.2 million in a public debut.

Just a few weeks ago Cempra posted promising mid-stage data on Solithromycin, saying the pneumonia treatment was ready for a late-state study. Another antibiotic in the pipeline has also completed a mid-stage study for skin infections, including MRSA. And in its SEC filing Cempra outlined plans to take both programs through Phase III to an approval, then either selling it alone or in partnership with pharma companies.

What Cempra, like a lot of emerging biotech companies, doesn't have is an approved product bringing in a steady stream of revenue. And over the past few years investors have repeatedly proven immune to the bright futures that biotechs paint for themselves. Those developers completing an IPO have often been forced to slash share prices and cut back on their take.

The News & Observer notes that a few life sciences companies in the state have filed IPOs, including Argos Therapeutics and LipoScience.

- read the SEC filing
- here's the Cempra release
- see the report from the News & Observer