Cempra awarded $58 million BARDA contract for antibiotic development

Cempra recently announced that it was awarded a five year, $58 million contact by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to develop an antibiotic for pediatric and biodefense use.

Cempra will develop its product, solithromycin, which is the fourth in a line of generation macrolide antibiotic in the fluoroketolide family. Solithromycin is currently in phase 3 development for bacterial pneumonia in adults.

"We are delighted that BARDA has recognized solithromycin as a potentially safe and effective treatment for the pediatric population," Prabhavathi Fernandes, chief executive officer of Cempra, said. "Macrolides have traditionally been favored for use in pediatrics because of their safety and efficacy. Solithromycin's approval would be the first orally administered antibiotic approved in decades, and azithromycin was the last macrolide approved, which was in 1991. We view BARDA's funding of this project as recognition of the potential of solithromycin to have broad utility in all age groups."

The contract is expected to help develop solithromycin into a product that can be used in a variety of pediatric ways, along with its potential use against bioterror pathogens.