PLYMOUTH (WWJ) — Esperion Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: ESPR), an early-stage pharmaceutical company developing a new class of cholesterol-fighting drugs, Monday provided financial figures and a corporate update.
President and CEO Tim Mayleben said Esperion continues to work on ETC-1002, a once-a-day pill that offers a novel mechanism of reducing LDL-C, the so-called bad cholesterol, and reducing patients’ cardiovascular disease risk. The drug also doesn’t have the same side effect profile as today’s statin drugs — occasional muscle weakness and pain.
“Patients with hypercholesterolemia and a history of statin intolerance have few good treatment options today and need alternative therapies,” said founder, executive chairman and chief scientific officer Roger S. Newton. “With the resources now available to us through our recent financing and IPO, we are in an excellent position to advance ETC-1002 to address this high unmet medical need.”
Added Mayleben: “The second quarter was transformative for Esperion. We completed a successful private financing ending the period with $16.6 million in cash and cash equivalents and in early July received net proceeds of $74.9 million from the closing of our IPO resulting in pro forma cash and cash equivalents of $91.5 million. We also continued to advance the clinical development of ETC-1002. We completed and reported positive top-line results from our ETC-1002-006 Phase 2a clinical study in patients with hypercholesterolemia and a history of statin intolerance. Further, we completed enrollment and dosing in our ETC-1002-007 Phase 2a clinical study in patients with hypercholesterolemia and expect to report top-line results in the first half of September. We are in an excellent position to complete the Phase 2b clinical development of ETC-1002.”
Research and development expenses were $3.1 million for the second quarter of 2013 and $5.2 million for the six months ended June 30, compared with $2.3 million and $3.9 million for the comparable periods in 2012. The increase in research and development expenses was largely driven by the advancement of the ETC-1002 program through Phase 2 development.
General and administrative expenses were $1.2 million for the second quarter of 2013 and $2.4 million for the six months ended June 30, 2013, compared with $500,000 and $1.2 million for the comparable periods in 2012. The increase in general and administrative expenses was largely driven by incremental expenses to support public company operations, changes in headcount, which includes increased stock-based compensation expense, and other costs to support Esperion’s growth.
Esperion reported a net loss of $6.9 million for the second quarter of 2013 and $11.2 million for the six months ended June 30, 2013, compared with a net loss of $3.2 million and $5.6 million for the comparable periods in 2012.
At June 30, cash and cash equivalents totaled $16.6 million compared with $6.5 million at Dec. 31, 2012. The increase was primarily driven by net cash proceeds of $17 million from a preferred stock financing in April. Cash and cash equivalents at June 30, 2013, did not include the net proceeds of $74.9 million resulting from the completion of the IPO and the exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option in July 2013, which is net of underwriting discounts and commissions.
Esperion expects that its cash and cash equivalents will be approximately $75 million at Dec. 31. The company believes that existing cash resources will fund the company until at least the end of 2015. Full-year 2013 net cash used in operating activities is expected to be approximately $25 million.