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Esperion Announces the Appointment of Jay P. Shepard to Board of Directors
ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Esperion (NASDAQ:ESPR), the Lipid Management Company focused on developing and commercializing complementary, convenient, cost-effective, once-daily, oral therapies for the treatment of patients with elevated low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), today announced the appointment of Jay P. Shepard as a Class III Director, with a term expiring at the 2019 annual meeting of stockholders.
"On behalf of the Lipid Management Team and our directors, I am very pleased to welcome Jay to the Esperion board. Jay's experience supporting the launch and commercialization of biopharmaceutical products will be invaluable as we advance the bempedoic acid product franchise through the final stages of development and approval," said Tim Mayleben, president and chief executive officer of Esperion. "With five pivotal Phase 3 studies reporting out this year, and a clear regulatory pathway forward, Esperion has entered the most significant period in our history. Given his breadth of knowledge in bringing new drugs to market, we are confident that Jay will make important contributions to help us deliver once-daily, oral therapies that complement existing standard-of-care treatments to the millions of patients in need of additional LDL-C lowering."
Mr. Shepard has served as the President and CEO of Versartis, Inc. since May 2015, and has also served as Executive Chairman of the Versartis Board since early 2014. Mr. Shepard has previously served as Executive Partner at Sofinnova Ventures, President and CEO of NextWave Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer), President and CEO of Ilypsa (acquired by Amgen), interim President and CEO of Relypsa (Ilypsa's spin-out company, which was acquired by Galencia), and Vice President of Commercial Operations at Telik and Alza Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Johnson & Johnson). He has over 30 years' experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and drug delivery arenas, and has participated in or led over 16 product launches by preparing markets and establishing sales and marketing operations. Mr. Shepard is a board member of Versartis, Inc., Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, and the Santa Clara University Entrepreneurial School. Mr. Shepard holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Arizona.
"I am both energized and delighted to be joining Esperion's highly accomplished board of directors, particularly during this momentous period," said Mr. Shepard. "I look forward to supporting the Lipid Management Team as they develop commercialization plans for the bempedoic acid franchise with the goal to provide high-risk patients with hypercholesterolemia complementary, once-daily, oral therapies to lower elevated levels of LDL-C."
Bempedoic Acid / Ezetimibe Combination Pill
Through the complementary mechanisms of action of inhibition of cholesterol synthesis (bempedoic acid) and inhibition of cholesterol absorption (ezetimibe), the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination pill is our lead, non-statin, orally available, once-daily, LDL-C lowering therapy. Inhibition of ATP Citrate Lyase (ACL) by bempedoic acid reduces cholesterol biosynthesis and lowers LDL-C by up-regulating the LDL receptor. Inhibition of Niemann-Pick C1-Like 1 (NPC1L1) by ezetimibe results in reduced absorption of cholesterol from the gastrointestinal tract, thereby reducing delivery of cholesterol to the liver, which in turn upregulates the LDL receptors. Previously completed Phase 2 data demonstrated that this safe and well tolerated combination results in a 48 percent lowering of LDL-C, and a 26 percent reduction in high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP).
With a targeted mechanism of action, bempedoic acid is a first-in-class, complementary, orally available, once-daily ATP Citrate Lyase (ACL) inhibitor that reduces cholesterol biosynthesis and lowers LDL-C by up-regulating the LDL receptor. Similar to statins, bempedoic acid also reduces hsCRP, a key marker of inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease. Completed Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 studies conducted in more than 4,100 patients, and over 2,700 patients treated with bempedoic acid, have produced LDL-C lowering results of up to 30 percent as monotherapy, approximately 50 percent in combination with ezetimibe and an incremental 20+ percent when added to stable statin therapy.
The effect of bempedoic acid on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not yet been determined. The company initiated a global cardiovascular outcomes trial (CVOT) to assess the effects of bempedoic acid on the occurrence of major cardiovascular events in patients with, or at high risk for, cardiovascular disease (CVD) who are only able to tolerate less than the lowest approved daily starting dose of a statin and considered "statin intolerant." The CVOT — known as Cholesterol Lowering via Bempedoic Acid, an ACL-inhibiting Regimen (CLEAR) Outcomes — is an event-driven, global, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study expected to enroll approximately 12,600 patients with hypercholesterolemia and high CVD risk at more than 600 sites in approximately 30 countries.
Esperion's Commitment to Patients with Hypercholesterolemia
High levels of LDL-C can lead to a build-up of fat and cholesterol in and on artery walls (known as atherosclerosis), potentially leading to cardiovascular events, including heart attack or stroke. In the U.S., 78 million people, or more than 20 percent of the population, have elevated LDL-C; an additional 73 million people in Europe and 30 million people in Japan also live with elevated LDL-C. There are approximately 13 million people in the U.S. with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) who live with elevated levels of LDL-C despite taking maximally-tolerated lipid-modifying therapy — including individuals considered statin intolerant — leaving them at high risk for cardiovascular events. The vast majority of these patients, 9.5 million, require less than 30 percent additional LDL-C lowering to achieve treatment goals.
Esperion's mission as the Lipid Management Company is to deliver once-daily, oral therapies that complement existing oral drugs to provide the additional LDL-C lowering that these patients need.
The Lipid Management Company
Esperion is the Lipid Management Company passionately committed to developing and commercializing convenient, complementary, cost-effective, once-daily, oral therapies for the treatment of patients with elevated LDL-C. Through scientific and clinical excellence, and a deep understanding of cholesterol biology, the experienced lipid management team at Esperion is committed to developing new LDL-C lowering therapies that will make a substantial impact on reducing global cardiovascular disease; the leading cause of death around the world. Bempedoic acid and the company's lead product candidate, the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination pill, are targeted therapies that have been shown to significantly lower elevated LDL-C levels in patients with hypercholesterolemia, including patients inadequately treated with current lipid-modifying therapies. For more information, please visit www.esperion.com and follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/EsperionInc.
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the regulatory approval pathway for the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination pill and bempedoic acid and the therapeutic potential of, clinical development plan for, the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination pill and bempedoic acid, including Esperion's timing, designs, plans and announcement of results regarding its pivotal Phase 3 study (1002FDC-053) and its global pivotal Phase 3 clinical development program for bempedoic acid and the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination pill, Esperion's expectations for the market for therapies to lower LDL-C, including the ability of bempedoic acid and the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination pill to serve as a complement the existing standard of care treatments, the market adoption and commercial potential of bempedoic acid and the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination pill, if approved. Any express or implied statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause Esperion's actual results to differ significantly from those projected, including, without limitation, the risks detailed in Esperion's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Esperion disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this press release, other than to the extent required by law.
Esperion Therapeutics, Inc.