Cempra shares jump to brisk start in 2015 after drugmaker details antibiotic study results

MarketsAssociated Press

Shares of Cempra shot up nearly 30 percent early Monday after the antibiotic developer said its treatment for patients with a common form of pneumonia fared well in late-stage clinical testing.

Solithromycin capsules proved to be not inferior to a competing treatment, moxifloxacin, when given to patients with community-acquired bacterial pneumonia, according to early results from the study, the company said.

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A finding of non-inferiority essentially means that the drug did not show superiority or inferiority to the other treatment. That determination was the main goal of the study.

Cempra Inc., based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, said community-acquired bacterial pneumonia is the top cause of death from an infection and one of the most commonly diagnosed bacterial infections in the United States. The company, which has no drugs on the market, also is studying an intravenous version of solithromycin.

The trial enrolled 860 patients with moderate to moderately severe cases of community acquired bacterial pneumonia. Patients randomly received either oral doses of solithromycin or moxifloxacin.

The drug developer announced the study results Sunday afternoon.

Shares of Cempra rose $6.43 to $29.32 before markets opened. That advance comes after the stock nearly doubled in value last year and closed 2014 at $23.51.