(Chapel Hill, N.C.) Cempra (CEMP), a Chapel Hill pharmaceutical firm launched in 2006, went public on the Nasdaq late last week raising $50.4 million in an 8.4 million share offering at $6 per share, well below its target range of $11 to $13. The company, with two oral antibiotics that have completed mid-stage clinical trials, had originally hoped to raise about $72 million by selling 6 million shares.
Shares began trading at $6.18 and hit a high of $6.58 before closing at $6.06. Cempra is the second drug developer to go public nationwide in 2012. The first therapeutic IPO, Massachusetts-based Verastem, a pre-clinical drug developer, generated much more enthusiasm in its debut one week before Cempra’s offering. The company was trading up 10 percent one week after making its debut.