Cempra reported a narrower loss in the first quarter thanks to a $10 million milestone payment from its Japanese partner Toyama Chemical.
The Chapel Hill drug developer reported a loss of $17.4 million, or 41 cents per share, compared with a loss of $17 million, or 51 cents per share, during the first quarter of 2014.
That narrowly beat Wall Street estimates. The consensus among analysts who cover the company was a loss of 42 cents.
The milestone payment helped offset a 59 percent increase in research and development spending to $26.1 million during the quarter. The spending was related to an active pharmaceutical ingredient necessary to support the launch of solithromycin, Cempra's experimental antibiotic treatment.
Cempra has enrolled 610 patients in its Phase 3 clinical trial for solithromycin. The company also recently launched a Phase 1 trial involving pediatric patients up to age 17.
Cempra announced last week that it is in line to receive another $10 million milestone payment from Toyama, a subsidiary of Fujifilm.
Cempra is eligible to receive up to $60 million in milestone payments and royalty payments from Toyama. Earlier this year Cempra raised $128.6 million from a secondary stock offering.
As of March 31, Cempra had $209.1 million in cash.
Cempra shares rose $1.21, or 4 percent, to $32.70 on Friday. The stock has risen 39 percent this year.