Cempra

Ticker: CEMP
IPO price: $6
Oct. 23 close: $6.43
Percentage gain: 7%

Cempra ($CEMP) reached the public market in February with a pipeline of next-generation antibiotics against drug-resistant bugs, including the notorious MRSA. The share price of the Chapel Hill, NC-based developer has held strong from its $6 per share IPO price this year, even rising above $9 per share before settling down some in recent months. And most recently the price took a haircut with the announcement that Cempra was returning to the funding well to raise $25 million.

Regulators have pledged to aid companies like Cempra in their efforts to advance new antibiotics, as health officials fear that there are too few anti-bacterial compounds in development to stand up to the rising threat of superbugs. At Cempra, one of the company's lead compounds, CEM-102, has shown an ability to combat gram-positive superbugs such as MRSA. The company is spearheading mid-stage development of the drug for prosthetic joint infections, with an oral dosing strategy that is expected to reduce development of resistance to the therapy.

The company also believes that its new macrolide compounds have potential to treat gastric motility disorders, endocrine diseases, chronic inflammatory ailments and cancer. These non-antimicrobial uses of the compounds remain in the preclinical stage yet offer a menu of therapeutic options to pursue for the company.

In fact, many Big Pharma companies have cut back on research of new antibiotics as they double down on programs focused on new drugs for cancer, diabetes and other illnesses with huge payback potential.

For more:
Antibiotics developer Cempra braves tough market with $86M IPO
Cempra presents new data on anti-microbials
Cempra rounds up $46M for antibiotic work

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