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: Shares in Esperion Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ESPR) tumbled by more than 15% today following a meteoric climb in the wake of positive results for its cholesterol-busting drug ETC-1002.
So What: Shares in Esperion Therapeutics have shot higher by 33% since reporting positive data from its mid stage trial for ETC-1002 on March 17th.
The surge since mid-month brought Esperion Therapeutics' year-to-date return to a market-trouncing 154%, so it's not too surprising to see investors booking profits as the broader biotech industry retreats -- especially given that Esperion Therapeutics just closed on a dilutive offering of more than 2 million shares.
Excitement surrounding Esperion Therapeutics stems from ETC-1002's potential for use alongside commonly-prescribed statins. During phase 2 trials, patients taking ETC-1002 and statins saw their bad cholesterol levels drop by an additional 17% to 24% compared to patients taking statins alone.
Those results are encouraging enough for Esperion Therapeutics to plan on initiating phase 3 trials; however, costs associated with expensive late stage trials prompted the company to offer up 2,012,500 common shares at a price of $100 each. The company also sold an additional 262,500 shares at that price as part of an over-allotment program. Overall, the offering resulted in $189.9 million in net proceeds to the company.
Now What: Since developing medicines is incredibly expensive, its probably not too surprising to see Esperion Therapeutics tapping equity market for funding, particularly given the recent run-up in its shares. Although the offering is dilutive, investors should recognize that it's far better long-term to raise money from investors than it is from lenders.
If ETC-1002 can continue to put up strong results in phase 3, Esperion Therapeutics could end up with a blockbuster on its hands. Admittedly, we'll have to wait a while before we know whether or not that happens, but risk-tolerant investors may want to consider buying this one for speculative portfolios on this drop.