Business

July 30, 2014

Cempra Q2 loss quadruples as R&D costs rise

Cempra's net loss quadrupled in the second quarter as the Chapel Hill pharmaceutical company ramped up spending on clinical trials for the antibiotic products it is developing.

Cempra’s net loss quadrupled in the second quarter as the Chapel Hill pharmaceutical company ramped up spending on clinical trials for the antibiotic products it is developing.

Cempra posted a net loss of $16.4 million in the second quarter, compared to a loss of $4.2 million the year before. The per share earnings loss was 49 cents compared to a loss of 16 cents a year ago, Cempra reported Tuesday.

The 48-employee company was founded in 2006 and has no drugs on the market. Cempra is developing antibiotics to treat drug-resistant bacterial infectious diseases, including pneumonia and prosthetic joint infections.

The reason for the higher loss was increased spending. Cempra burned through $15.2 million on research and development costs in the second quarter in connection with increased clinical trial projects. That’s a 141 percent increase over last year.

General operating costs were up 24 percent to $2.6 million in the second quarter, mostly due to higher employee expense.

Cempra’s sole source of second-quarter revenue was a federal contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Cempra could receive up to $58 million under its 5-year contract with BARDA to develop a treatment for infections in children and for infections caused by bioterror pathogens.

Cempra shares, which opened at $9.70, were down 9 cents in trading Wednesday.

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