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Startup Cempra Pharmaceuticals Adds $8 Million To First Round

Posted October 3, 2006

— Cempra Pharmaceuticals'

Series A round grew by more than half on Tuesday as Aisling Capital added $8 million to the startup's funding.

Cempra, which is developing anti-infective technology licensed from a San Diego company, announced a $14 million A round in August.

Andrew Schiff of Aisling Capital will join the Cempra board as part of the deal. Garheng Kong of Intersouth and investment banker I. Wistar Morris III, the other Cempra investor, also sit on the board. Aisling Capital is based in New York City. It recently closed on a new $550 million fund.

Cempra plans to use the funds to expand its management team and for further product development.

"We are very aware of the great need for new antibacterial agents to meet the rising need for treating infections caused by drug resistant bacteria," Schiff said in a statement. "Cempra has a team experienced in developing antibiotics and we are excited about investing in this team and the products."

The company has proprietary chemistry technology related to macrolides, which are antibiotics that fight a wide range of bacterial infections. The firm's founders have backgrounds in discovering and developing anti-infective treatments.

Cempra has already licensed a pipeline of macrolides and ketolides, which are effective against macrolide-resistant bacteria, from Optimer Pharmaceuticals in San Diego, CA. According to the company it has a number of compounds at various stages of development.

The global market for anti-infective drugs is estimated to be greater than $30 billion, according to Cempra.

Cempra was launched in January. It is led by Prabhavathi Fernandes, who is president and chief executive officer

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