CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Aug. 01, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cempra, Inc. (Nasdaq:CEMP), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing antibiotics to meet critical medical needs in the treatment of bacterial infectious diseases, today announced that the company has appointed John Bluth to the newly created position of executive vice president, investor relations and corporate communications. He will report directly to Prabhavathi Fernandes, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Cempra.
“John has exceptional scientific, financial and commercial pharmaceutical experience, and a 20-year track record of building value through effective communication with investors, journalists, physicians and other stakeholders. We are excited to add his experience to the Cempra executive team at such an important time for the company,” Fernandes said.
Prior to joining Cempra, Mr. Bluth headed investor relations and corporate communications for two of Silicon Valley’s leading biotechnology companies, CV Therapeutics, which was acquired in 2009, and Aviron, which was acquired in 2002. Before joining Aviron, Mr. Bluth led the west coast healthcare practice for Fleishman-Hillard, an international public relations firm.
From 2009-2012, he was senior vice president of investor relations and group communications at German-based Elster Group, one of the world’s largest electricity, gas and water measurement and control providers. Mr. Bluth served as a member of Elster’s group executive board and built the investor relations and corporate communications functions for the company through its initial public offering in 2009. Elster was acquired in 2012.
From 2012 through mid-2016, Mr. Bluth was senior vice president of investor relations and corporate communications and served on the executive committee at PowerSecure International, Inc., a leading provider of energy technologies and services to electric utilities and their large industrial, commercial, institutional and municipal customers. PowerSecure was acquired in May 2016.
“If approved, Solithera would represent the first new oral and IV macrolide antibiotic introduced in more than 20 years. I am honored to join a growing company with a dynamic team that is so committed to bringing Cempra’s exciting pipeline of urgently needed new therapies to patients and the physicians who treat them,” Bluth said.
Mr. Bluth holds a Bachelor’s degree in physiology from Cornell University.
Solithromycin is a highly potent next-generation macrolide, the first fluoroketolide, which has potent activity against most macrolide-resistant strains. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown potent activity against S. pneumoniae as well as an extended spectrum of activity against community-acquired methicillin resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA), streptococci, haemophilus, enterococci, Mycobacterium avium and in animal models of malaria. It is also active against atypical bacteria, such as legionella, chlamydia, mycoplasma and ureaplasma, and against gonococci and other organisms that cause genitourinary tract infections. It is 8-16 times more potent than azithromycin against many bacteria and is active against azithromycin-resistant strains. Solithromycin's activity against resistant strains is driven by its ability to interact with three sites on the bacterial ribosome, compared to one for current macrolides. The binding to bacterial ribosomes and interaction with three ribosomal sites is expected to limit the development of bacterial resistance to solithromycin.
About Community-Acquired Bacterial Pneumonia
Community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) is the number one cause of death from an infection, particularly in the very young and in the elderly. CABP is one of the most commonly diagnosed bacterial infections in the U.S. resulting in 5 to 10 million cases per year. Although many strains of the primary CABP pathogen, Streptococcus pneumoniae, are resistant to currently-approved macrolides, this class of antibiotic remains among the most commonly prescribed antibacterial drugs for CABP in both the hospital and community settings. Due to the rising threat of microbial resistance, along with concerns over antibiotic tolerability and impact on intestinal microflora, new CABP treatments are needed. Antibiotic resistance is a complex, emerging problem globally with potentially devastating consequences for public health.
About Cempra, Inc.
Cempra, Inc. is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing antibiotics to meet critical medical needs in the treatment of bacterial infectious diseases. Cempra's two lead product candidates are currently in advanced clinical development. Solithera™ (solithromycin, CEM-101) has successfully completed two Phase 3 clinical trials for community-acquired bacterial pneumonia (CABP) and new drug applications for both intravenous and oral capsule formulations have been accepted for review by the FDA. Additionally, a Marketing Authorization Application has been submitted to the EMA. Solithromycin is licensed to strategic commercial partner Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, for certain exclusive rights in Japan. Solithromycin is also in a Phase 3 clinical trial for uncomplicated urogenital urethritis caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae or chlamydia. Cempra is contracted with BARDA for the development of solithromycin for pediatric use. Three formulations, intravenous, oral capsules and a suspension formulation are in a Phase 1b trial in children from birth to 17 years of age. Taksta™ is Cempra's second product candidate, which is being developed for acute bacterial skin and skin structure Infections (ABSSSI) and is also in an exploratory study for chronic oral treatment of refractory infections in bones and joints. Both products seek to address the need for new treatments targeting drug-resistant bacterial infections in the hospital and in the community. Cempra has also synthesized novel macrolides for non-antibiotic uses such as the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases, endocrine diseases and gastric motility disorders. Cempra was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Chapel Hill, N.C. For additional information about Cempra please visit www.cempra.com.
Please Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events. These statements are just predictions and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual events or results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among others: our ability to retain and hire necessary employees and to staff our operations appropriately; our and our strategic commercial partners' ability to obtain FDA and foreign regulatory approval of our product candidates, including solithromycin; our ability to commercialize and launch, whether on our own or with a strategic partner, any product candidate that receives regulatory approval; the costs, sources of funds, enrollment, timing, regulatory review and results of our studies and clinical trials and those of our strategic commercial partners; our need to obtain additional funding and our ability to obtain future funding on acceptable terms; our anticipated capital expenditures and our estimates regarding our capital requirements; the unpredictability of the size of the markets for, and market acceptance of, any of our products, including solithromycin and Taksta; our ability to produce and sell any approved products and the price we are able to realize for those products; the possible impairment of, or inability to obtain, intellectual property rights and the costs of obtaining such rights from third parties; our ability to compete in our industry; our dependence on the success of solithromycin and Taksta; innovation by our competitors; and our ability to stay abreast of and comply with new or modified laws and regulations that currently apply or become applicable to our business. The reader is referred to the documents that we file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.