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May 14, 2009

Cempra Pharmaceuticals Closes $46M Series C Financing

Filed under: Regional Venture News — admin @ 5:04 pm

Chapel Hill, NC - Cempra Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage company developing novel antibiotics for difficult-to-treat and drug-resistant infections, announced today that it has successfully raised $46 million in a Series C financing. The funds will be used for the continued clinical development of CEM-101, Cempra’s lead macrolide compound; CEM-102, its promising oral antibiotic for gram-positive infections; and other preclinical stage, non-antibacterial macrolide programs. Quaker BioVentures led the Series C round, which also included Devon Park Bioventures, as well as original investors, Aisling Capital, Intersouth Partners, investment banker Wistar Morris III, and Teachers’ Private Capital. Geeta Vemuri, Ph.D., Partner at Quaker BioVentures, will join the board with this financing.

“Antibiotic resistance is an increasingly daunting major public health challenge, and Quaker is committed to supporting companies that are advancing the most promising solutions,” said Dr. Vemuri. “With two compounds in active clinical development, Cempra addresses a critical, growing need for novel and potent antibiotics. We are excited to help the company continue to rapidly build a leading position in this field.”

“Our investment in Cempra is Quaker’s seventh investment in North Carolina, which we believe is a quickly growing center of innovation for the life science industry,” said Sherrill Neff, Partner, Quaker BioVentures.

Cempra is nearing completion of a Phase I trial for its lead antibiotic candidate, CEM-101, for which the company is developing both intravenous and oral formulations to allow treatment of moderate and severe community-acquired bacterial pneumonia. The company expects to begin Phase II studies later this year. CEM-101, which Cempra believes is the most potent macrolide in development, shows activity against macrolide-resistant organisms and the potential to treat a broad range of clinically significant, difficult-to-treat infections such as pneumococcal and mycoplasma pneumonia.

Cempra also anticipates it will begin pivotal clinical trials in the second half of 2009 for CEM-102, an oral antibiotic that is active against gram-positive bacteria and is expected to be used to treat patients with complicated skin and skin structure infections caused by community-acquired and hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA and HA-MRSA).

“This additional funding represents strong confidence in our approach to address the need for new antibiotics, particularly those that will be used to treat drug-resistant infections, and it will help us advance our clinical development of these very promising compounds,” commented Prabhavathi Fernandes, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Cempra. “The Infectious Disease Society of America has cited that the top three needs in antibacterials are treatments for multi-drug resistant pneumococcus, MRSA, and gram negative pathogens. With CEM-101 potentially indicated for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia, and CEM-102 being developed for complicated skin infections, including MRSA, we are making great strides to address two of those three needs.”

The Chairman of Cempra’s Board of Directors, Garheng Kong, M.D., Ph.D., General Partner at Intersouth Partners, added, “It’s encouraging to see that even in the current economic environment, a company like Cempra, with an innovative approach and promising compounds, can attract strong investors that enable it to deliver on its mission to serve the global patient population.”

About Quaker BioVentures
Quaker BioVentures is a venture capital firm with 0 million under management, dedicated to investing in life science companies in the Mid-Atlantic region and contiguous states. The firm leads investments in companies across the spectrum of the life science industry, including biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, human diagnostics, specialty pharmaceuticals, and healthcare services. Quaker BioVentures invests in companies at all stages of development, from early stage businesses to public companies. Please visit Quaker BioVentures’ website at

About Devon Park Bioventures
Devon Park Bioventures, founded in 2006, is a healthcare venture capital firm with a primary focus on therapeutics companies. Based in the Philadelphia area, the firm seeks to invest in companies which have significant commercial potential based on propriety products, attractive clinical development plans and superior management teams. The General Partners of Devon Park have a longstanding history in the biotechnology business, having been lead or co-lead investor in over 25 biotechnology companies over the past 18 years. For additional information, please visit

About Cempra Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Founded in 2006, Cempra Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately-held biotechnology company that discovers and develops well-differentiated medicines to cure bacterial infections and improve the quality of life for those with chronic illnesses. The company strives to meet urgent and rapidly expanding needs to treat patients with drug-resistant bacterial infections. Cempra balances near-term product development opportunities, including the macrolide CEM-101, while investing in future products from new technologies to derive the next generation of antibiotics. Cempra is utilizing its proprietary chemistry technology to develop macrolides without antibacterial activity for non-antibiotic uses. Additional information about Cempra can be found at

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