Experimental drug developed by Esperion Therapeutics Inc has lowered LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels in patients who were already on statins.
Because of this, Esperion’s shares reached a record high of $91.50 on the NASDAQ to hit a 19% increase in sales.
The company has developed ETC-1002, an option for patients who are intolerant to statins and as an additional therapy. The preferred first-line treatment for cholesterol for decades, Statins manufacturers have gone generic.
Chad Messer, Needham & Co analyst, expects the drug to be embraced faster as an additional therapy to statins instead of swapping statins totally.
About 35 million patients take statins in the United States alone. 30 percent of these, have cholesterol levels that are too high, Messer said.
“That is about 10 million patients, which is a huge market potential.”
Expecting sales of more or less $1.22 billion from ETC-1002 as additional therapy to statins by 2025. Sales are expected by him to reach $1.65 billion from patients who finds statins an intolerate drugs.
Results from a mid-stage trial in October, Esperion declared the same drug lowered LDL levels considerably than Zetia of Merck & Co Inc’s. In 2014, Zetia’s global sales were about $2.7 billion.
First in a new course of drugs named ACL inhibitors which work by the reduction of cholesterol synthesis in the liver and increase occurrence of LDL ETC-1002 is the receptors that remove cholesterol from the blood.
A 17 percent and 24 percent greater reduction in LDL cholesterol levels registered with patients taking doses of 120 and 180 mg of the drug.
The LDL-lowering power is equivalent to half of the new injectable biotech cholesterol drugs, PCSK9 inhibitors.
ETC-1002 is not only cheaper but also extra convenient for patients compared to PCSK9 drugs, Messer said.
” ETC-1002 is an easy oral therapy not a shot for your average patient,” he said. “Only patients with severe cholesterol problems will take a shot and an expensive one at that.”
Esperion wishes to market it outside the United States and is in search of partners, with shares at $89.88