Esperion Announces the Appointment of Tracy M. Woody to Board of Directors
ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 30, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Esperion (NASDAQ: ESPR) today announced the appointment of Tracy M. Woody as a Class I director, with a term expiring at the 2020 meeting of stockholders.
"On behalf of the Lipid Management team and our directors, I am very pleased to welcome Tracy to the Esperion board. Her extensive commercial experience will be immensely valuable as Esperion transitions to the next stage of growth and the upcoming launches of bempedoic acid and the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination tablet,” said Tim Mayleben, president and chief executive officer of Esperion. "With FDA approval of bempedoic acid expected within the next 9 months, Tracy will be a key advisor as we prepare to make our convenient, once-daily, oral therapies accessible to the millions of patients in need of additional LDL-C lowering.”
Ms. Woody is a highly experienced executive with over 20 years of commercial experience in pharmaceuticals, biologics, and medical devices. Ms. Woody leads TMW consulting where she works with early stage companies to provide initial commercial input and early Phase 3 companies to provide input on their commercial plan including the key imperatives that are critical for a successful launch. Ms. Woody previously served as the chief commercial officer of Versartis and KemPharm. Prior to KemPharm, Ms. Woody served as vice president of sales and marketing at NextWave Pharmaceuticals, and vice president of business development as well as sales and marketing at Greer Laboratories. Ms. Woody has experience in all aspects of commercial operations across a wide range of therapeutic areas for both emerging and established companies. Ms. Woody holds a B.S. in Health Promotion and Applied Physiology from East Carolina University.
"I am honored to be joining Esperion's highly accomplished board of directors, particularly as the Lipid Management team is approaching FDA approval and preparing for commercial launch. I look forward to leveraging my previous commercial experience and working with the Team to bring these convenient once-daily, oral therapies to the millions of patients who need additional LDL-C lowering," said Ms. Woody.
Bempedoic acid is our lead, non-statin, complementary, orally available, once-daily, LDL-C lowering therapy. With a targeted mechanism of action, bempedoic acid is a first-in-class, 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 high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), a key marker of inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease. Completed Phase 3 studies conducted in more than 4,000 patients, with over 2,600 patients treated with bempedoic acid, have produced an additional 18 percent LDL-C lowering when used with moderate- and high-intensity statins and 28 percent LDL-C lowering when used with no background statin.
Bempedoic Acid / Ezetimibe Combination Tablet
Through the complementary mechanisms of action of inhibition of cholesterol synthesis (bempedoic acid) and inhibition of cholesterol absorption (ezetimibe), the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination tablet is a 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. Phase 3 data demonstrated that this combination results in a 29 percent LDL-C lowering when used with maximally tolerated statins, a 44 percent LDL-C lowering when used with no background statin (post-hoc analysis), and a 34 percent reduction in hsCRP.
The effect of bempedoic acid on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not yet been determined. Esperion 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 averse." The CVOT — known as 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 over 1,000 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., 96 million people, or more than 37 percent of the adult population have elevated LDL-C. There are approximately 18 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 averse — leaving them at high risk for cardiovascular events. More than 50 percent of ASCVD patients who are not able to reach their LDL-C goals with statins alone need less than a 40 percent reduction to reach their LDL-C threshold. 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 complementary, cost-effective, convenient, 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 bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination tablet 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 bempedoic acid and the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination tablet and the therapeutic potential of, clinical development plan for, bempedoic acid and the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination tablet, including Esperion's timing, designs, plans and announcement of results regarding its CLEAR Outcomes study and other ongoing clinical studies for bempedoic acid and the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination tablet, timing for the review and approval of the NDAs and the MAAs and Esperion's expectations for the market for therapies to lower LDL-C, including the market adoption of bempedoic acid and the bempedoic acid / ezetimibe combination tablet, if approved, Esperion’s cash position and financial outlook, and the expected upcoming milestones described in this press release. 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, delays or failures in Esperion’s studies, that positive results from a clinical study of bempedoic acid may not be sufficient for FDA or EMA approval or necessarily be predictive of the results of future or ongoing clinical studies, that notwithstanding the completion of Esperion’s Phase 3 clinical development program for LDL-C lowering, the FDA or EMA may require additional development in connection with seeking regulatory approval, that existing cash resources may be used more quickly than anticipated, and 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.