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.
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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.