Esperion Sets Offering Of Stock, Rising On Clinical Trial Success

ANN ARBOR — The Ann Arbor pharmaceutical developer Esperion Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: ESPR) said it would offer 1.75 million new shares of the company to the public at a price of $100 a share.

That’s a bargain, since the company’s shares traded Thursday morning as high as $115.58 a share, based on news of a successful clinical trial of a new choelsterol-lowering drug Esperion is developing.

As for the stock offering, Esperion said it’s expected to close by Tuesday, March 24. The company said Its proceeds will complete the clinical development of the drug now known as ETC-1002, along with “working capital” and “general corporate and administrative expenses.”

Esperion is also granting the underwriters of the offering the option to buy up to 262,500 more shares of Esperion at $100 if there’s demand.

Copies of the details of the stock offering may be obtained by contacting Credit Suisse Securities ( USA) LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, One Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010, or by calling toll-free (800) 221-1037, or by emailing newyork.prospectus@credit-suisse.com; RBC Capital Markets, LLC, 200 Vesey Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10281-8098; Attention: Equity Syndicate; phone: (877) 822-4089; email: equityprospectus@rbccm.com; or UBS Securities LLC, Attention: Prospectus Department, 299 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10171, or by calling toll-free at (888) 827-7275.

Esperion went public in an offering of $73 million in stock in June 2013, and raised another $98 million in an offering in October 2014.

Esperion is working on drugs that lower low-density lipoprotein, the so-called bad cholesterol, in people who experience problematic side effects from today’s cholesterol-lowering drugs, called statins. It’s being studied both being taken alone, and in combination with a low dose of statins for patients who can’t tolerate the levels of statins required to cut cholesterol levels effectively.

Tuesday, the company announced positive results of a Phase 2b clinical trial of ETC-1002 in combination with statins. The drug produced reductions in LDL between 27 and 24 percent greater than patients on statin therapy alone.

The company also said ETC-1002 produced reductions of up to 30 percent in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), which Esperion called an important marker of inflammation in coronary disease.

“We are encouraged by these results, not only because ETC-1002 demonstrated clinically meaningful reductions in LDL-cholesterol in this population, but because they are consistent with our previous studies,” said Esperion president and CEO Tim Mayleben. “With the continued attractive safety and tolerability profile, this Phase 3-enabling study reinforces the potential for ETC-1002 to provide a once-daily, oral treatment option for a broad range of patients with hypercholesterolemia, including those with uncontrolled LDL-cholesterol levels despite stable statin therapy.”

The latest study involved 134 patients over 12 weeks at several centers.

Esperion stock rocketed from just under $60 to over $115 a share on the news between Tuesday and Thursday.

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