Esperion reports first financial results since new cholesterol drug approval

ANN ARBOR—Esperion Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:ESPR) reported a loss of $78.2 million or $2.84 a share in the first quarter of 2020, vs. net income of $87.4 million or $3.07 a share in the first quarter of 2019.

Last year’s net income was the result of a one-time payment from Daichi Sankyo Co. for European commercialization rights to Esperion’s new cholesterol-fighting drugs, Nexletol and Nexlizet, which were approved for sale in the United States and Europe during the quarter.

Revenue was $1.8 million in the quarter, including $858,000 in product sales and $982,000 in collaboration revenue. Revenue in the prior year quarter was $145.4 million.

Research and development expenses were $34.7 million for the first quarter of 2020, compared to $46.3 million for the comparable period in 2019. The decrease was primarily attributable to declines in clinical trial and regulatory costs. Selling, general and administrative expenses were $41.6 million for the first quarter of 2020, up from $12.2 million for the comparable period in 2019. The increase was due to commercialization of Nexletol and Nexlizet, hiring 300 staff to support sales of the drugs, and stock-based compensation costs.

“With two marketing approvals in the U.S. and two in the E.U., the commercial launch of Nexletol tablets in the U.S. by our highly-tenured customer-facing team, completion of a second precedent-setting ex-U.S. collaboration, and achievement of our ambitious managed care coverage goals in the U.S., our Esperion team continues to excel,” said Tim M. Mayleben, Esperion president and CEO. “These accomplishments showcase the potential of our lipid management business over the long term as we continue to deliver upon commitments to patients, healthcare providers, our managed care partners, shareholders, and other stakeholders.”

Esperion also reduced its predicted 2020 spending on research and development expenses, reducing the prediction to $135 million to $145 million, down from $145 million to $155 million previously. Selling, general and administrative expenses are now predicted to be $200 million to $210 million, down from $225 million to $235 million. Company officials said they expect that current cash resources, coupled with the expected future milestone payment under the Daiichi Sankyo Europe collaboration agreement and commercial product sales, are sufficient to fund continued operations through profitability.

To listen to a conference call discussing these results, visit investor.esperion.com.

Nexlitol and Nexlizet use a novel mechanism of action to cut the level of low-density lipoprotein, the so-called bad cholesterol that can lead to arterial blockage. They’re intended for people who can’t tolerate already existing statin drugs due to side effects such as muscle pain and weakness. It’s been tested in more than 14,000 patients at more than 1,400 sites in 32 countries.

More at www.esperion.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.