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.