Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Following news that it has priced its public offering at $100 per share, shares in Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ESPR) are soaring by more than 10% today.
So what: Esperion Therapeutics will bulk up its cash war chest by offering 1.75 million shares of its common stock at a price of $100 per share. The company has also approved an over-allotment program consisting of an additional 262,500 shares.
The move will provide the company with valuable financial flexibility to advance its promising cholesterol-busting drug ETC-1002 into late stage clinical trials.
Earlier this week, Esperion Therapeutics reported that ETC-1002 had put up impressive results during phase 2 trials. In those trials, adding a 120 mg dose of ETC-1002 to traditional statins helped patients' bad cholesterol levels drop 17%. Patients taking a 180 mg dose did even better, netting a 24% drop in LDL cholesterol levels.
Now what: Statins are the most widely prescribed medicines in America, and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts estimates that as many as 71 million Americans have high cholesterol levels. As a result, there could be a significant market opportunity for ETC-1002.
The market for statins is roughly $20 billion and an increasingly larger and longer-living population could mean that there will be a willing market for ETC-1002 if it can put up similarly strong results in phase 3. Given that the market offers billion dollar blockbuster potential and the fact that Esperion's founder is the co-inventor of Lipitor, the globe's top selling statin, there's a lot to like about this company. That said, Esperion is a clinical stage company without revenue or a product on the market, and that means that it remains best-suited for risk tolerant investors.