Cempra snags $70M antibiotic pact with Japan's Toyama

Chapel Hill, NC-based Cempra ($CEMP) has signed up a Japanese partner on its late-stage antibiotic solithromycin. Toyama Chemical, a subsidiary of FujiFilm, is paying $10 million upfront and promising up to $60 million more in milestones in exchange for the exclusive commercial rights to the antibiotic in Japan.

"We are very pleased to see that Toyama has selected solithromycin to add to its portfolio of antibiotics and it will commit significant resources to initiate clinical development and initiate commercialization activities to bring this important new antibiotic to patients in Japan," said Prabhavathi Fernandes, chief executive officer of Cempra, in a statement.

Solithromycin is currently engaged in a Phase III study for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia as well as a midstage trial for gonorrhea. On its web site Cempra describes the antibiotic as a "next-generation oral and intravenous fluoroketolide."

According to its latest 10-K, Cempra has gobbled up close to $105 million in operating expenses since the biotech was founded in 2005, mostly for R&D. 

- here's the press release