Pharmaceutical company Cempra on Friday became the first Triangle company to complete an initial public offering of stock in 10 months, raising nearly $48 million.
That was considerably lower than the nearly $90 million the Chapel Hill company had said it hoped to raise in earlier regulator filings. Cempra sold 8.4 million shares at $6 per share, well below the $11 to $13 price range the company expected.
Underwriters of the offering also have the option an additional 1.2 million shares.
In its first day of trading on the NASDAQ, Cempra shares closed up 6 cents at $6.06. The company’s ticker symbol is CEMP.
Cempra, which had 15 employees at the end of last year, is developing treatments for drug-resistant skin infections and pneumonia. The company has two antibiotics in clinical trials.
One targets patients with pneumonia. The other is being tested as a treatment for skin infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA.
The company’s founder and CEO, Prabhavathi Fernandes, was involved in developing clarithromycin, a popular antibiotic used for sinus infections, bronchitis and pneumonia.
Cempra raised nearly $80 million in venture funding since its founding in 2006.
The company’s IPO was the first by a Triangle company since Durham-based Tranzyme raised nearly $50 million in April.
Cempra initially filed plans to go public in October. A number of other health care-related Triangle companies have also filed to go public in recent months.
Argos Therapeutics, a Durham company developing experimental medicines to treat kidney cancer, HIV and lupus, filed plans to raise as much as $86.3 million in an IPO. LipoScience, a Raleigh company that sells a blood test to check risk of heart disease, also filed plans in June to raise as much as $86.25 million.
Last year was a lackluster year for IPOs. A total of 121 companies went public, down from 153 in 2010, according to IPOScoop.com.
Successful IPOs by Triangle companies’ reinforce this region's cachet as a hub for drug research and provide firms with the money they need to conduct further research and add additional staff.