Esperion posts big loss, but sales of its drugs rising rapidly

ANN ARBOR—Esperion Therapeutics Inc. reported a 150 percent increase in sales for its new cholesterol-lowering drug between the third quarter and the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

Overall, the company posted a big loss, $104.5 million, or $3.89 a share, in the quarter, vs. a loss of $61.9 million or $2.26 a share in the fourth quarter of 2019. The company only began selling its drugs, Nexletol and Nexlizet, in the third quarter of 2020. Revenue was $9.6 million, up from $982,000 a year earlier.

For the full year, the loss was $143.6 million or $5.26 a share, compared to a loss of $97.2 million or $3.59 a share a year earlier. Revenue was $227.5 million, up from $148.4 million in 2019.

“Even though 2020 was an exceptionally challenging year, we made progress in our mission of lipid management for everyone,” said President and CEO Tim M. Mayleben. “Successes include the U.S. FDA approval of Nexletol and Nexlizet, our innovative oral, once-daily, non-statin LDL-C lowering medicines for indicated patients, the EU EMA approval of Nilemdo and Nustendi, and the first-ever EU product royalty revenue from Daiichi Sankyo Europe, establishing a collaboration with another world-class partner for our medicines in Japan…all while battling the headwinds of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Esperion’s drugs use a mechanism different from today’s statin drugs to reduce cholesterol in the blood, reducing the chance of cardiovascular disease. They’re intended for patients who experience side effects from statins, including muscle weakness.

The company ended the year with $305 million in cash and equivalents at year end, up from $201.7 million a year earlier. The company predicted 2021 operating expenses of $320 million to $340 million, of which $120 million to $130 million will be for research and development and $200 million to $210 million will be selling, general, and administrative.

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

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