Cempra plans $86 million IPO

STAFF WRITEROctober 13, 2011 

Cempra Pharmaceuticals, a Chapel Hill company that is developing treatments for drug-resistant skin infections and pneumonia, plans to raise as much as $86.3 million in an initial public offering of stock.

The company filed plans with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday.

Cempra has two antibiotics in clinical trials.

One targets patients with pneumonia. The other is being tested as a treatment for skin infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.

The company's founder and CEO, Prabhavathi Fernandes, is a microbiologist who was involved in developing clarithromycin, a popular antibiotic used for sinus infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.

Cempra raised $46 million in venture capital in May 2009. The company has attracted $78.4 million since it was founded in 2006.

Cempra is just the latest IPO proposed by a Triangle health care business.

Argos Therapeutics, a Durham company developing experimental medicines to treat kidney cancer, HIV, lupus and other diseases, filed plans in July to raise as much as $86.3 million in an initial public offering of stock.

LipoScience, a Raleigh company that sells a blood test to check patients' risk of heart disease, filed IPO plans in June.

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