March 7, 2018 / 12:33 PM / 10 months ago

Esperion's cholesterol drug succeeds in late-stage study

March 7 (Reuters) - Esperion Therapeutics Inc said on Wednesday a late-stage trial of its experimental oral drug met the main goal of reducing cholesterol by 28 percent in patients suffering from, or at a high risk of, an artery-clogging heart disease.

Esperion is looking to target patients who are unable to take or do not show improvement with statins, a class of medicines that lower the level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in the blood.

Although less potent than PCSK9 inhibitors - newer, injected cholesterol medicines usually prescribed to such patients - Esperion's drug is expected to be cheaper.

Esperion's 12-week study tested a 180 mg per day dose of its drug, bempedoic acid, versus a placebo in 269 patients with high cholesterol whose treatments were not adequate.

"Positive data would increase the likelihood of a global partnership or M&A takeout, since Esperion has wholly owned rights to an asset that could fit well in a big pharma," Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said in a client note ahead of the results. (Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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