Esperion Therapeutics Raises $33M to Further Clinical Trials
The Ann Arbor-based biotech company Esperion Therapeutics announced today that it has completed a $33 million round of preferred stock financing. Longitude Capital led the round, with Aisling Capital, Alta Partners, Domain Associates, Arboretum Ventures, and Asset Management participating. Longitude’s founder and managing director, Patrick Enright, will join Esperion’s board as a result of the financing deal.
Tim Mayleben, Esperion’s CEO, says the company will spend the money on “clinical trials, clinical trials, clinical trials.” Esperion is in the middle of Phase II clinical trials for ETC-1002, a novel small-molecule LDL-C lowering therapy for treating statin-intolerant and statin-resistant patients.
Mayleben says the clinical trials are fully enrolled and Esperion expects to report results as early as June. In the fall, Esperion will start Phase IIb trials in which its cholesterol-lowering drug will be administered on top of Lipitor.
Esperion was “rebooted” in 2008 by Roger Newton, who led the drug discovery team that created Lipitor, the world’s most prescribed drug and the source of more than $130 billion in sales.
Newton co-founded Esperion in 1998 before selling the company to Pfizer in 2004 for $1.3 billion—one of the most successful exits in Michigan startup history. Pfizer eventually shut the company down, and Newton went about licensing the name and some of the intellectual property to continue developing small-molecule, LDL cholesterol-lowering technology.